“Under a Fragmented Sky” comes barely 8 months after the last Lunatic Soul album, “Fractured.” So one of two situations come to mind. Either Mariusz Duda had intended to have 2 separate albums or “Under a Fragmented Sky” is the leftovers from the “Fractured” sessions. While Duda said that these songs “have been waiting for their own time which has now come,” after listening to this album they sound like leftovers.
The first two tracks on the album are for me two of the worst that Duda has done. “He av en” is a forgettable instrumental that goes nowhere while “Trials” is riddled with loops of his vocals of which one vocal line uses AUTO TUNE. I am sure he did it for effect but the effect is fucking annoying. It comes off as a bad attempt at Radiohead circa “Kid A.”
Things get better after that (couldn’t get worse though), with the pair of acoustic based tracks “Sorrow” and the title track. “Sorrow” feels more like a simple intro to the title track, which is a good song but a long way from what Duda is capable of doing. It seems like the album is made up of pairs of songs because the next two tracks fit together as well. “Shadows” and “Rinsing the Night” are instrumentals that remind me a bit of Tangerine Dream. Both are good but not great.
The final pair of songs are the best on “Under a Fragmented Sky.” The track “The Art Of Repairing” has potential but it’s way too electronic for my taste (much like the last two songs), plus Duda brings back auto tune at the end of the track. And wow it might be worse than the first time he used it. “Untamed” is far and away my favorite track on the album. Of the songs on here, it’s the only one that stacks up to anything he has done. GREAT song and it’s no surprise that it was released as the first single.
What I’ve learned from “Under a Fragmented Sky” is that Mariusz Duda is human. Yes even he can release substandard material. I thought the same about Steven Wilson with “To the Bone.” So based on that, I am sure people LOVE “Under a Fragmented Sky” but for me, these are leftovers that probably should have been either reworked or forgotten save for “Untamed.” I don’t mind the electronic direction so long as the songs themselves do something but too often they do not. “Under a Fragmented Sky” is an album for the diehard fans but not somewhere for new fans to start out. Looking forward to the new Riverside!
1. He av en
4. Under The Fragmented Sky
6. Rinsing The Night
7. The Art Of Repairing