Disconnected Souls – Fragments Of Consciousness

We produce powerful cinematic metal music by breaking down genre boundaries

Disconnected Souls, the band of my dear friend Holly Royle, are released their first full-length album on January 19th 2024. Already knowing some of the work of this outstanding band [or should I say ‘souls’?] I asked them if I could have a pre-listen and review of “Fragments Of Consciousness”. Sure I could and here we are with an exceptional piece of metal art. And believe me, we will not remain disconnected.

 

Fragments Of Consciousness

Let’s see if we can put these Fragments Of Consciousness together to one piece, from song to album. Here are the twelve fragmentments, pieces, or songs:

Delirium

“Welcome to Delirium

Your experience will begin in

Five, four, three, two, one”

The album’s opener starts off as a sweet little song with a spherical sound until it explodes after the intro. Harsh male vocals dominate the first verse, followed by sweet female vocals. Heavy guitars do their job; synth melodies overrule them. A choir ends the delirium. This first song is more complex than the whole album of  most other bands. Listen to it and you will see what I mean.

 

Dissonant Whispers

“Pull me further from the shore

Let me save you from this war”

A piano at the beginning is accompanied by a lovely female voice. Very tender, very heart-warming. The male voice takes over, with female whispers in the background. The guitar work is a little less heavy, but the steady drum beat is murder! Finally, harsh male vocals take control and carry the dissonant whisperers to the next level off shore. And don’t be surprised by the end!

 

Plague Rats

“You’ve been deceived, thoughtless zombie

Why can’t you see reality?”

We continue with what I thought was a medieval subject. More than 1,000 years old, it is still as relevant and serious as ever. These plaque rats are no longer animals but humans. Male voices are in the foreground, either harsh or clean, but the female choir in the background should not be ignored. A spoken female interlude gets in the way and the whole song starts to hyperventilate and overwhelm you.

Petrichor

“I’ll stand with Gaia as she screams

“Fire, burn with me”

I will stand with

I will stand with her”

I know a Gaia who is a very good friend of mine. I am not sure if this strong, very strong song is meant for her. It is very heavy and hard on one side and very melancholic and soft on the other. But I am sure that it is a song about a very strong woman with a vulnerable and very honest soul. So in the end, yes, it could be here. I just love this little track. Thank you Holly for writing it!

Symbiont

“I am shrouded by your haze

My blood has been frozen”

We continue with some mysterious piano notes and an interfering guitar. The song builds and explodes with harsh male vocals until it reaches its climax, piano interferes. The choir takes the melody and carries it to some more harsh vocals. Clean male vocals take over; the instrumental interlude breaks them up for the benefit of the harsh vocals. Wow, this is really a song I did not expect to be so heavy! It is almost brutal!

Kintsukuroi

“Reclaim your mind to rewrite your fate

Your life is yours to dictate”

Haragayato’s art (Wikipedia)

I didn’t know what the title of this track meant, I guessed it should be something Asian, or more specifically Japanese. The melody hints at it. So now we are talking about an ancient method of repairing ceramics. It is easily transferred from broken ceramics to broken souls. Put them together and fix them with gold. It is a very atmospheric, heavy song with a strong, meaningful message. Or to put it simply, another masterpiece…

 

Human Error

“We can make this world burn

We can destroy ourselves in turn”

Of course, errors are human. Or is it the other way round, are humans an error? The song certainly is no error. My error was, I could have sworn I heard Lindsay Schoolcraft on guest vocals, but I failed, it is all Holly! It is still unbelievable how close these two outstanding voices are sometimes. The whole song has a very ominous seriousness to it, and I mean that as a real compliment.

Loveless

“Am I soulless?

Does my heart pump naught but ice?”

We continue with something that is a bit further away from metal music than the previous tracks. At least in the beginning. Still quite electronic, but it fits the theme of the song. The vocals are very distorted, strange and irritating like the whole song. But I think, no, I’m sure, that’s the idea behind this song. It makes it a fine, almost unbearable, heavy melody in an electronic disguise.

Silence of the Doves

“Lull me to sleep, as mother’s love

Embraced to dream in a silence of the doves”

If you grew up or were a young adult in the 80s, you know what happens when doves cry. We are not talking about the rebirth of Prince (R.I.P.), because this time they are silent. And the song starts quiet and slow, slowly getting louder and louder, leading us to a fine piano melody and beautiful clean female vocals. It is certainly one of the softer songs on the album until it ends with brutal and harsh melodies and vocals.

Fragments (feat. Jeremy Valentyne)

“Assimilate your dissonance with mine

It doesn’t matter anymore”

These fragments feature none less than Jeremy Valentyne of New Years Day on lead guitar. But it starts with some flowery synth sounds. Unexpected, wasn’t it? Personally I was expecting a guitar outburst! Instead, we get some nice female and male clean vocals with that synth layer underneath. But wait for the guitar solo, it is a nice one. It sounds like it is slowly building up speed, very controlled speed, and then it fades out like a fragment should.

 

Monachopsis (A Waltz at the End of the World)

“Planets collide as we laugh and die

Stars relinquish their flames”

Once again I had to consult the dictionary to find out the meaning of the title. It is described as “the subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place”. Now I ask you, dear readers, don’t we all sometimes feel out of place? I certainly do. But even though this little gem is far from any kind of metal, it does not feel out of place on this album. When was the last time you heard a waltz and a saxophone-like solo on a metal album and just liked it? Exactly! THAT is what high art is all about!

Iyashikei

The closer 0f “Fragments Of Consciousness” is a purely instrumental song. It is a very experimental song. To say it’s a spherical song doesn’t really do it justice, but it’s the closest description I can come up with. Or maybe not? It is also very electronic, a real experiment. It is so different. And once again I had to look for the meaning. I found out that Iyashikei could mean “healing type” or just “healing” in Japanese.

What is left to say?

In short, a lot. And at the same moment, nothing. I’m speechless. Fragments Of Consciousness is very complex and very diverse. It is certainly not an album for easy listening on the motorway. I imagine turning off the lights, leaning back and closing my eyes. Dream away and lose yourself listening to this outstanding album. Enjoy it like a good meal, don’t consume it, live it and feel it.

Not a fragment

To answer my question from the beginning, yes, the twelve Fragments Of Consciousness together form one piece, one album. All pieces build up on each other in perfection. I will end our review with Holly’s own words, because there are no better words to describe this album:

Will you Fade into the Light, or Fall into the Dark; an Interloper observing The Fall of Man? All are Disconnected from their Souls, all are Broken Toys, all are Living In Sin. The Mischievous Spirit ponders on our world; A Paradigm Deconstructed

Photo credit: Tom Lloyd

Short Facts

Fragments Of Consciousness

Release date: January 19th 2024

Label: Independent, self produced

Genre: Cinematic Metal

 

Disconnected Souls are:

Matthew Simon Fletcher: Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Keys and Programming

Patrick Lloyd: Vocals and Programming

Holly Frances Royle: Guitars, Vocals, Keys and Programming

Tim Jenkins: Synths, Keys, Guitar and Programming

Felix Luca King – Vocals, Violin, Kalimba and Programming

 

Track list

Delirium

Dissonant Whispers

Plague Rats

Petrichor

Symbiont

Kintsukuroi

Human Error

Loveless

Silence of the Doves

Fragments (feat. Jeremy Valentyne)

Monachopsis (A Waltz at the End of the World)

Iyashikei


Online:

Disconnected Souls

Please buy merch and physical music or downloads  from the bands official sources and don’t stream music for free because it steals your artists’ income


proof reading by DeepL

9.8
Outstanding
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