Frail Body – Artificial Bouquet (Review)

Frail Body Artificial Bouquet
Band:Frail Body
Release:Artificial Bouquet
Release Date:29th of March, 2024
Released viaDeathwish Inc.

I can’t paraphrase Touché Amoré often enough: somehow it’s already been five years since Frail Body released their last offering Brief Memoriam. Two live albums and one new song (“Titus“) later Frail Body are finally back. Anticipation hasn’t been broken over the years so I couldn’t await to dive head- and heart-first into this release.

The opener, “Scaffolding,” enters new stylistic territory, resembling something that could be on a future Deafheaven album: blast beats, harsh vocals, and melodies as song-accelerants. The magnificent “Horizon Line” displays similar qualities and offers a great finale. What stands out here is the sonic upgrade that Frail Body has undergone compared to their debut. The urgency and aggression remain, but Jack Shirley (known for his work with Deafheaven and Oathbreaker) makes the sound more voluminous and vicious, highlighting their impressive strengths.

In addition to the sonic update, Frail Body seem to have used the five years to enrich their songs. The second single from the album, “Devotion,” is a prime example of this development. It takes its time to unfold its beauty, with nearly 2 out of 6.5 minutes dedicated to the intro alone. This space suits Frail Body well. While the speed combined with sprinkled melodies made an impression back then, there is always a risk of sounding one-dimensional if this formula is overused. However, the band masterfully captivates listeners with epic songs like “Devotion” and “Critique Programme.”

Artificial Bouquet left a lasting impression on me. Everything took a step forward here: the sight, the sound and the songs got kicked up several notches. Frail Body deliver 41 minutes of exploding, satisfied anticipation that makes you want to get lost in the fiery sensation again and again.

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