Solar Fragment - A spark of deity 3.5/5

Reviewed: 1-9-09





Tracklist:

1. Man of faith
2. Take me higher
3. To thy crown
4. Lands, titles, nothing
5. So long
6. Fading light
7. Wanderlust
8. The assassin
9. Fragment of the sun


One thing which I love to write about is new metal bands that make their mark with their debut releases. This here is one example, with melodic power metal band Solar Fragment and their debut CD called ‘A spark of deity’. Rising out of Germany, ‘A spark of deity’ is a very solid metal release, where the band has also delved into a touch of prog, mixed with traditional heavy metal.

Leading this band is vocalist Robert Leger, who I cannot speak more highly of on this release. Robert has an awesome voice with a vast range. No matter whether he is singing at his typical mid-range level, or with the higher notes; his voice remains strong, powerful and emotional. Listening to him, I can’t help but think of a similarity with Blind Guardian vocalist, Hansi Kursh. Like Kursh, Robert Leger is able to sing at a higher peak but still retain that gruff sound and not lose any power in his voice.

Musically, Solar Fragment are primarily melodic power metal, but their guitar work and drumming are quite technical, which gives reason for my initial comment about them delving slightly into prog metal. At stages throughout the CD, I could definitely hear a Demons & Wizards/Blind Guardian influence and similarity. The songwriting is very creative indeed, more so than I would expect from a first release metal band. The lyrics were quite deep, meaningful and emotional; and brought to life beautifully by the band members.

I found all 9 tracks on ‘A spark of deity’ to be very good and chocked full of exuberance, determination and creativity. The guitar work is crystal clear and precise, and drives each track along with the vocals. There are a lot of top riffs, hooks and solos throughout. In some songs, the band uses a semi-acoustic guitar and acoustic guitar, which really strikes you with their soothing tones; and totally makes these tracks stand out.

Some top tracks within ‘A spark of deity’ include the CD opener “Man of faith” (video currently available on youtube.com), the emotional “Take me higher”, “Lands, titles, nothing”, the wonderful ballad “So long” and the powerful double-bass fury of “Wanderlust”.

As the CD has come to a close for the umpteenth time, I'm still greatly surprised and inspired by the amount of effort which has gone into this debut release. Never hearing of this band before receiving this assignment, now I will never forget them and will follow Solar Fragment very closely; awaiting their 2nd CD with high hopes. The record label, Sleaszy Rider Records, have found a gem here in Solar Fragment.

Fans of melodic power metal and traditional heavy metal, particularly Blind Guardian and Demons & Wizards, should track down this release because you will not be disappointed.



SEAN




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