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Review: Retrace My Fragments – Tidal Lock EP

From Luxembourg, Retrace My Fragments released their Tidal Lock EP on the 22nd of September. Every now and then, I step away from my usual boxes and look in the direction of instrumental, experimental, and prog bands. Sometimes, bands that express their musicianship do just fine without vocals.

The first track “Khlav Kalash” really had me curious as it was building up. The beginning is a rather hypnotic chug segment right up until the two minute mark – I could see it as a soundtrack to a movie. From that point on, there is a very Melodic Death Metal feel in the guitar leads. The rest of the track has a 90s instrumental rock approach that should be very accommodating for the likes of Joe Satriani fans. Near the end of the track, there are plenty of guitar solos of extremely impressive calibre, for they are indeed melodic and catchy. I did not think I’d hear shredding like that in this day and age. Nicely done.

“Le Bison de Hoggs” really has an earlier Dream Theater feel particularly reminding me of the era between Images and Words, and Train of Thought. There are indeed plenty of nice guitar solos to make the average guitar player feel inadequate, but it is also good to hear that the awesome material the guitar solos bring to the table is backed up by many tasteful riffs and transition. I don’t for a minute find myself tuning out as I often with some of the other bands of this genre. It’s like I want to absorb as much as I can from this instrumental by really letting a story form in my head as I hear it.

The last track “Laserbrain” is very conflicting as to whether it works for me or doesn’t. In that regard, it keeps going back and forth. On the one hand, certain riffs become very repetitive very quickly. On the other, a chugging riff or a guitar squeal may get my attention, only to return me back to segments I have already heard. Then again, a better riff comes to the rescue along with a face-melting guitar solo that surely shines the most. But otherwise, I don’t think certain segments tie well, and unfortunately, it is those segments that are most used.

Nevertheless, I give this EP 7.5/10 as 75% of this duration is a great listen. I can see many shred and prog enthusiasts putting Tidal Lock on their bandcamp wish-lists. I am glad I came across it.

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