Grade: n/a

Compos Mentis impressed with their last demo, "Quadrology of Sorrow," but with their debut album, they've really set their career off right. Epic sounding, melodic black/death metal with Lindberg throat and arrangements equal to the best of "North From Here"-era Sentenced are the order of the day on "Fragments of a Withered Dream."

Opening with the sound of rain and the romantically doomed 'Drained', "Fragments of a Withered Dream" captivates from start with a wonderful balance of desperate sounding vocals, dual guitars concerned more with texture and melody than simple aggression, keyboards that accent every song in the right places, and a sparkling production. 'Temptation' follows with some very nice hooks and more of that energetically somber mood that just shouldn't work, but somehow does. 'Dead Among the Dead' is a powerful, piano-driven piece that shows off just how tight Compos Mentis have become, and 'Innate God' wraps things up with thick keys a wash of despair before fading off into the rain we began with.

What Compos Mentis do best is create long, dramatic sequences of riffs supported by an energetic rhythm section with enough to speed to keep things interesting even after repeated spins. This certainly isn't doom, but it is black/death metal that a doom fan would appreciate. In short: a unique vision, commendably exectuted.
- Muxlow

Standout Tracks