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Grade: 8.5/10

COMPOS MENTIS (Dk), Fragments of a Withered Dream, Lost Disciple Records
8 tracks, 37:17 min.
Release Date: 01.2003
Morgana: 8.5 out of 10

Melodic Death Metal, very well performed and thought-out, with heart-kindling emotional musical creations - all of it together brings about COMPOS MENTIS' Fragments of a Withered Dream.

Hailing from Scandinavia (Denmark to be more precise), the cradle of melodic DM, these Danish metalheads and metalhearts saw the signing of a deal with Lost Disciple by means of their highly acclaimed debut MCD Quadrology of Sorrow (2000).

The first time I (consciously) heard the name «COMPOS MENTIS», it was associated with some tour they have played with MNEMIC - by then I thought we were dealing with good musicians, and so it is in fact. COMPOS MENTIS have also played with acts such as ILLDISPOSED, WITHERING SURFACE, HATESPHERE, SATURNUS, THORIUM or EXMORTEM.

The reasons for CM's excellent music is I gather the stability in the line-up since the band's creation, back in 1996: Jesper Kristensen (vocals and guitars), Bo Damgaard (keyboards), Dan Damgaard (bass) and Andreas Posselt (drums).

One of the things that struck me about COMPOS MENTIS is the fact that keyboards do not sound faggy - in fact, they add a different dimension to the music, enhancing specific passages in a rather competent way. The riffing is also very much to my liking and there are these magnificent interludes every now and then, whether be they whole songs, or simply interludes within the song itself. And then there are acoustic moments, not an usual thing even for melodic NWOSDM standards. The songs are very well-structured and there are some glimpses at virtuoso moments.

CM lean on the Swedish school, particularly old IN FLAMES. Add some doom melancholy and the mix is on the rocks. Then you get power derived from a clear production with dense hammer-smashing strength - and Fragments of a Withered Dream becomes addicting as hell, because that is what this album really is: good music for the soul and ear, proof that the North is brimming with potential. The Innate God is the favourite track.

The over mirrors withering dreams or withering in general: the colouring chosen clearly points at mentally decaying despair. A brilliant touch of subtlety and coherence with the album title.

There is only one problem about the songs - the fact that it is not very easy to differentiate between all of them, but that will go over with many spins. Symphonic Death Metal that finishes off at the sound of the falling rain. An album to remember.