, 19.01.2008

This fairly young troop of musicians was formed in June, 2004, in Germany. Through a solid live performance and the release of a self-financed demo they managed to gain the attention of the international press within a rather short period of time. As a result of this the band was asked to support Beyond Fear and Vicious Rumors on their Spanish tour in 2006.

Some time last year Greek label Sleaszy Rider took interest in the band and offered a deal that couldn’t be refused. The first effort of this Greek-German coalition has just recently hit the stores in the form of debut album “A Spark Of Deity”, a collection of songs in the vein of the old power metal tradition with the exception that this lot refrains from the use of keyboard parts.

SOLAR FRAGMENT focuses on melody rather than on complex structural lines. Still the music is diverse and the rhythm section thrives on a touch of progressiveness. The twin guitar work is occasionally fast and furious and leaves you gasping for air once you get caught in their stringed duelling. At times the music is neck-wreckingly heavy and its groove infectious, but there is also room for candlelight moments as in the folksy ballad ‘So Long’, featuring a stunning guest appearance by vocalist Daniela Pollei of Lunarstrip. Her angelic delivery matches perfectly with the slightly darker timbre of front man Robert Leger’s voice.

Unlike the crew of the star ship Enterprise – even though the name of the band refers to outer space – SOLAR FRAGMENT is not out to discover new horizons. Their approach to metal is set in a traditional way, but it’s done with a refreshing attitude and skilled technique.

References can be made to the fellow countrymen of Custard and Blind Guardian. The latter because the music breathes the same atmosphere (especially when the pace slows down and the acoustic guitars come out of the closet), but also because the voice of Robert Leger has an amazing likeness to that of Hansi Kürsch.

So, for all of those who favour good old fashioned power metal in the vein of Blind Guardian, get out of your lazy chair and check this promising new band out at your local music store. (Netherlands)
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