[Reviewed by stark]
The main export good from Slovakia is back with “Fratres”, which is not a brand new full album, but a collection of collaborations Phragments was involved in during the last couple of years. Therefore the interpretation of the title, “Fratres”, becomes very obvious and I have to agree with the main assumption of the idea – at least I suspect that was the concept – the spirit of brotherhood on the dark ambient scene is stronger than in any other genre.
Four out of five tracks you may find on the Kalpamantra/Malignant online compilations, so if you have a feeling that you’ve already heard these somewhere, you’re right. If you liked them, now you can grab them on CD and have collected in one place.
This harrowing aura so specific for the previous Phragments album is omnipresent, it is not about the brothers marching forward, hand in hand with the flag of unity raised high. The idea is not in the music itself. It’s the picture of apocalypse painted in Bratislava, in the middle of XXI century Europe. Not sure if that is the fact or just my impression, but I feel that in most compositions – if not all – it was Matej who was a causative factor here. That the wasteland-ish atmosphere created through the deep crawling drones is his merit, while the other musicians infused the tracks with their characteristic ornamentations, whether they will be the orient horror strings of Atranenia, emotional and noisy synths by Rasalhague or the organic space by Terra Sancta. All this brings an individual aspect of each involved musician to the tracks, yet at the same time you may treat it as another Phragments full release even if in fact it is not.
Or simply forget these factographic, who made what, divagations and let yourself be absorbed by the music – the ashes of industrial civilization on the postapocalyptic landscape are waiting for you.