Prior to the release there's been quite some ballyhoo around COMPOS MENTIS as to being one of the most hopeful and best unsigned Melodic Death Metal bands of the scene and so on. Now in the last couple of months this already thought dead genre had surprised me time and again with highly interesting and damn good new and young bands, like THE DUSKFALL, OMNIUM GATHERUM or MORS PRINCIPIUM EST and there it is almost an omen that besides those Swedes and Finns COMPOS MENTIS also hail from Scandinavia, more precisely Denmark.
And the opener "Drained" shows us right away that these laurels at least to a big part are deserved, because what this young band shows us here is damn good indeed. The song is powerful, varied, with great melodies, but heavy guitars and only the slightly hysteric vocals of Jesper Heinsvig are not for my ears (is a matter of taste, I still don't like Tompa Lundberg of AT THE GATES), still a very good start and the quintet does not let go, quite the opposite.
The Danes time and again build a calmer passage in between two double bass driven parts or just take the foot off the gas to let atmosphere take over, but never letting the song seem to be hacked off or generally incohesive, as "My Inner Beast" showcases, the purely acoustic end alone is already something that you only rarely get in Melodic Death. And also after that the quintet from Esbjerg delivers finest melodic Death Metal, a little leaning towards the Swedish school, but also implementing a few things from related genres and further spiced up with keyboards/piano, altogether with a generous riff attack and a tight rhythm section.
The production is clear and powerful, while for the cover artwork they could sign up a specialist, the hand of Travis Smith is unmistakeable. So also in that category there is nothing to be criticized with the Danes.
Surely COMPOS MENTIS do not re define Melodic Death Metal, but stand in almost one line with the above mentioned bands by managing to reanimate this sub genre and if you bring in the very well placed calmer interludes, then you have a winner with "Fragments Of A Withered Dream"! (Online August 17, 2003)