Fragment. is just one of those projects that never seems to be able to extend itself beyond the cusp of obscurity. Arranged and composed by the French native Thierry Arnal, there is very little information regarding the project and/or any relatable information used to help add greater perspective to the music’s own artist. Having released several EPs and full-lengths, Fragment. has become a rather artistic and expressive project while not yet finding much of a dedicated fanbase to call its own. Easily described as regal, the album Home mirrors bands such as Jesu and Low — by no lack of praise given by Fragment.’s own proprietor — inspiring the foundation of the album while it brings its own majestic and expressive motifs that resonate in an intensely warm atmosphere.
Despite being composed of only two tracks, Home is an extensive and enveloped release that utilizes a dense need for layered melodies and slow, shoegazing riffs. Articulated synth or guitar layers are keenly used and arranged well, creating thick and absorbent droning atmospheres which are firmly paired with the haunting glow of post-rock elements. As the temperature has increased and the gardens begin boasting their annual yield, it seems as if the lush layers on Home have been adequately created for such a time and space of forgotten Winter days and flourishing Summer evenings. This seasonal impression adds a sense of renewal, be it the dawn of new ages or just the appropriate expressiveness that is as vibrant in audio as there is abundance in color in Spring. With its well-crafted down-tempo riffs and subtle electronics, Home should have warranted its share of attention upon its release in 2011, resonating with an emotionally atmospheric warmth.
“Home I” starts off this expansive album with a droning ambience that swirls and vortexes into oblivion, opening up into heavy yet delicate riffs that are as simplistic as they are oddly mellow. Once the vocals kick in, they are equally emotionally derived, standing as compatible with the rest of the music in its mellow yearning. Through the near twenty-five minute long song, Fragment. progresses slowly and develops the music at its own pace, finding its own steady crescendo and climax, eventually pushing Home into its interwoven, complexly beautiful whole.
“Home II” is a play on the melodic structures of its predecessor, but discards the vocals and heavier guitar sections. What exists in their place is a cohesive use of droning ambiance and industrial elements that build upon the already rich layers and depth of atmosphere the previous track already paved. Do not expect any monolithic moments here though, this track — and by connection, the one before it — helps create a wall of emotional entanglement that seeks to illuminate visions through a mellow reprieve from harsher and more abrasive alternatives.
Home’s ultimate weakness resides in what is also its greatest strength. This album, by design, is the type of album where one could lose his or her focus and be carried off to a state of relaxation and meditation. This album offers a reprieve from the harshness of the outside world, from the daily struggles of life in a consumerist world. It is a near vested fifty minutes of tranquility and emotionally forceful piece of art. It indeed feels like home.
01) Home I
02) Home II