Review: “Anguish” by Fraktions (5th Anniversary)

Our annual pilgrimage to Newark Showground for Tech-Fest began in July 2017 and we haven’t looked back since, the absence of the festival for two consecutive years due to the Great Plague considered a crime against humanity in these parts. So rather than cry into our collective empty pint glasses, we decided that to bring you a piece of nostalgia with a review of the debut EP from Fraktions. You see Tech-Fest was part of the inspiration for the existence of Metal Noise and one of the longest lasting memories from that year was the set from this band. The EP dropped the year prior in 2016 making 2021 it’s 5th Anniversary.

Recorded and Mixed by Daniel Reid (No Consequence) and mastered by Acle Kahney (4D Sounds, TesseracT) the debut EP from Fraktions is a concept release that cuts adrift a pair of singles from 2015 as stand alone in order to achieve the bands vision. Masterminded to a point by Joel Pinder (vocals, keyboards and composition), who is surrounded by William Kitchener (bass, backing vocals), Ross Gordon (drums) and guitarist duo Sebastian Dymiter and Charlie Griffiths, the band take us on a journey through multiple sound-worlds that portray the state of mind of protagonist Sarah. Painted in Progressive Metal with touches of multiple sub-genres, the EP is the final chapter of the life of a paranoid schizophrenic.

There is a sense of orchestral composition stylings being used during “Anguish“, each track a movement designed to set a dark mood from the outset. The eerie programming and warm synths of “Illusion Of Control” set a sinister and nauseating scene, like the feeling that something is wrong without being able to put your finger on it opening up the floor for “Altercation“. That builds on the foundation with haunting melodies that interweave Progressive Metal riffs with those synths while Pinder’s clean vocals are bright, warm and in the edge of unhinged. The music is multi layered with intricate little parts adding to the feel and texture of the record throughout, the piano solo on “Freedom Of The Conscious Mind” for example an absolute pleasure before the lead parts sweep it away with a tidal wave of meloncholic atmosphere. The piano interlude “The Event” with its eerie calm before the storm sensation is like something from a John Carpenter classic before the “Panic” brings the crushing riffs and unclean roars of then No Consequence vocalist Kaan Tasan who has of course joined Heart of a Coward since. The angular riffs push the boundaries of what Fraktions have created to that point while the permeation of the uncleans with Pinder’s clean parts gives the sense of two voices in the same head, a splitting personality pushing and shoving for freedom. The aftermath of that is “Sanctuary“, another eerie haunting and unhinged instrumental before Pinder unleashes his own unclean vocal beast for the opening verse of “The Difference Between Drowning And Sinking“. A sing-a-long chorus with DJenty goodness bolsters the bands live appeal and before breaking down with violent helter skelter riffs over chunky rhythms. Both an uncomfortable and rewarding listen for unexpected reasons, this is just the beginning [7.5/10]

Track listing

  1. Illusion Of Control
  2. Altercation
  3. Freedom Of The Conscious Mind
  4. The Event
  5. Panic (ft. Kaan Tasan of No Consequence and Heart of a Coward)
  6. Sanctuary
  7. The Difference Between Drowning And Sinking

Anguish” by Fraktions is out now and available over at bandcamp.

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