DREAMS IN FRAGMENTS
REFLECTIONS OF A NIGHTMARE
Released: June 28, 2019
Founded in early 2017, Dreams in Fragments are a Swiss metal band that soon found their own style – Melodic Dark Metal. The soulful four-piece, who consist of vocalist Seraina Schoepfer, guitarist Chris Geissmann, bassist Jan Thomas, and drummer Frank Fritschi, have released their debut album “Reflections of a Nightmare”, on June 28, via Rockshots Records.
Comparisons to established bands on the symphonic metal scene like Nightwish or Delain soon began to circulate, but in between Seraina’s light, operatic vocals, Chris’s powerful growls, and the dream-like backing orchestration, Dreams in Fragments have set themselves apart even from such bands that use the ‘beauty and the beast’ approach like Leaves’ Eyes or Epica. On the other hand, Dreams in Fragments could also be seen as a band with a gothic metal approach, precisely given the ethereal vocals provided by Seraina, which reminded me a lot of Ailyn (ex-Sirenia) and Liv Kristine (ex-Theater of Tragedy, ex-Leaves’ Eyes), as well as the use of growls and harsh vocals, which are a staple of the genre. Regardless, with Dreams in Fragments we get a different facet of the symphonic / gothic metal genre, compared to what we get from the usual suspects.
Defy every storm
Falling with a crown
Onto the music. Even though the album is pretty linear in the sense that most of the songs are quite similar in structure and delivery, there are some key elements that make some tracks stand out more than others. The gothic atmosphere of opener “Everytime” sets a groovy mood for the rest of the album, and it’s clear that the piano is an essential part of the band’s sound. And the keyboard flourishes on this album, especially on “The maze” and “Unireverse”, give the songs an aura of surrealism and beauty. Also there is a poppy approach to some songs like the upbeat “Nightchild” and parts of “In flames” which adds a breeziness and ease to the listening experience. The growls are not overused either, but instead they are used with added effect on selected songs (notably when they overlap with the cleans), thus creating a neat balance between the catchier, lighter songs, and the heavier songs like “Defy every storm”, with its groovy drum patterns, or “Incomplete”, which has a pretty neat guitar melody to it.
Speaking of balance, it feels like there is an increase in heaviness as the album progresses, and the second half of the album is especially heavy, compared to the first couple of songs of the album. As such “Falling with a crown” and “Little red” offer more from everything – more growls, more guitars, more drums, making them highlights of the album. The opening guitar riff on “Little red” is probably the best one on the album, and the vocal lines are catchy without being overly poppy. However, if the album had started from the symphonic interlude “Prologue” with the first couple of tracks scattered in between these hard-hitting songs, the flow and pacing would have been better.
All in all, “Reflections of a Nightmare” is a pretty good metal album, offering not only contrasting vocals, but also contrasting guitars and keys, while the drums and bass provide a good rhythmic section for the melodies to flourish. Fans of Nightwish, Sirenia or Within Temptation will surely find some things to like about this album.
Rating: 7 / 10
Seraina Schöpfer – vocals
Christian Geissmann – guitar & vocals
Jan Thomas – bass
Franc Fritschi – drums