Transcending the Mundane

Grade: 7/10

Compos Mentis first came to my attention when they sent me a copy of the debut e.p., Quadrology of Sorrow, two years ago. This Danish band turned out to be in a similar vein to underground acts like Callenish Circle and Lilitu, with even a little Opeth tossed in. To label the style of music Compos Mentis played would be rather difficult. They are certainly melodic, their guitar playing ventures into the progressive, busy mode with keyboards adding atmosphere. There is almost an equal amount of aggression, most apparent in the vocals. Jesper Heinsuig sings in a savage, close to black metal style throughout Fragments of a Withered Dream. Despite the varied musical approach (black, death, doom, power, avantgarde, even prog elements appear), the vocals keep Compos Mentis rooted in the more extreme side of metal. Some of the best moments on this eight song disc are when the guitar playing ventures into some doom territory. Perhaps the most obvious comparison for Compos Mentis is early nineties era of Amorphis, with a dash of early nineties In Flames. Their transitions between keyboard dominated passages and guitar oriented aggression are often seemless.
Album Score: 7 out of 10
Reviewed By: Brett VanPut