A collection of press items, including album/live reviews and interviews. 


Matt interviewed by Stench From The Grave Blog


Who are you and what do you do in your band?
I'm Matt, I play bass in Fragile Existence. Our full lineup is: 
Dan Glover - Guitars/Lead Vocals 
Eric Machacek - Guitars/Backing Vocals 
Morten Siersbaek - Drums 
Matt Hems - Bass 
When/where was your band formed?  
The band was formed by Dan in 2007. It originally started as a side project to his other (previous) band but after his departure he decided to make it a full time gig. Eric joined soon after that and performed on the first album, 2012's "Departing The Damned". Morten and I joined in 2013 and have been with the band ever since, including appearing on the new album "Cataclysms and Beginnings". 
Why did you choose to play Death Metal?
We choose to play Metal we enjoy. There is no real conscious decision to make it "Death Metal" specifically, just a shared desire to play heavy, intense, extreme music. Some people call us "Death/Thrash Metal", some call us "Melodic Death Metal", some call us "Old School Death Metal"… we just call us "Fragile Existence". 
How do you compose your music? Does only one guy do everything or does everyone contribute?
The songwriting process always starts on guitar, usually with Dan however Eric has been contributing quite a bit lately as well. Once an idea has come forward we bring it into the rehearsal room and everyone starts working on fleshing it out. Morten adds beats, I come up with a bassline, and everyone bounces structural ideas back and forth until the song feel complete. 
Tell us about your lyrics, writing, inspiration etc. 
Since Dan is the principle singer he writes all the lyrics, regardless of who has composed the song. The themes are always perspectives and opinions of his, with the subjects ranging from politics to history, personal/family struggles, and even science and the future of our species.  We don't tend to deal too much in fantasy subjects, or gore/shock lyrics. That stuff's already been done by bands who are far better at it than we would be. 
Is there an ideology behind your band? 
The basic theme behind the band is pretty well indicated by the name. Examining life here on our planet, the struggles and pitfalls of our species, and our role in the greater Universe around us. Our general philosophy is that we don't really need to write about things such as zombies or serial killers, real life is more than brutal enough. 
How do you see the state of Death Metal music these days in your country and in general? 
Here in Canada the city of Montreal has always been the National Capital of Death Metal. Our countries biggest DM bands such as Cryptopsy, Kataklysm, Neuraxis, and Beyond Creation have all come from there, and they receive a ton of local support.  
Where we live here in Toronto, Death Metal is far less popular and we're definitely much more of an underdog band on the local scene. We'll always keep playing the music we love though, whether we have 2000 fans or 20. Or 2. 
What are your long term plans as a band? What do you want to achieve? 
Having just put out a new album our current plans are to hit the road and play for as many people as possible, in as many cities as possible. Naturally we plan to record a follow-up but that is not a priority at the moment. The writing process never stops, however, and new songs are already being composed. 
In the meantime, we hope to visit everyone who's reading this in your hometowns, and play some awesome gigs! 
Name an other Death Metal band from your country that everyone should hear.
Our brothers in Deamon from Ottawa ON are an awesome band! Very brutal and intense stuff! They've been on a bit of a hiatus over the past couple years but are now back with a new lineup and definitely worth checking out! Show them some love! 
Free word  
Seriously though, thanks to everyone who's reading this, check us out at, and buy our stuff if you like it! 
Only losers use torrents.   

Dan interviewed by The Metal Voice Magazine
Hail Fragile Existence - Please introduce your mighty band to the readers of The Metal Voice Magazine.
Hey guys thank you so much for the interest!  We are a death metal band from Toronto, Canada. Looking for world domination lol . 

And your history? There is not a lot of information we can read about it, so can you tell us the most important facts about it? 
Well my music really hasn't changed since I was 17 and Fragile Existence is just a continuation of that. I always write music so I needed to assemble a group of like minded individuals. We started with our old drummer Max and added Eric shortly. We recorded Departing the Damned with that lineup. Then Max left and Morten and Matt joined to bring us to our current lineup. If anyone leaves I am killing them (joking)

As a follow up, could you please introduce your latest Cataclysms and Beginnings effort. Maybe you can tell us a little something about the release?
I am so pleased with this album! It turned out to be exactly how I would want it to and everyone did an excellent job. I am speaking for myself but I try to make music I want to listen to to and I rock it all the time. We went straight to the throat on this one but it's also more diverse.
Fragile Existence is quite an interesting name. Can you explain to us why you chose it and what does it mean exactly?
Well it's just about life and the human condition. We live on a planet with finite resources and I think we are so wrapped up in our own shit and worrying about money that we are going to fuck ourselves and everything else on this rock.  I feel frustrated and embarrassed to be a human being sometimes and I guess this band helps me vent that. So it deals with the knife's edge that we teeter on.

Which songs off the album do you feel represent Fragile Existence the best? 
All of them . We don't release material we don't like.

So how would you characterize your music in terms of the genre are you playing?
Well I would say we are a death metal band but we cross those borders often because I don't just listen to death metal. I hate thinking in genres. 

What were your musical influences when growing up and where do you find inspiration now, both musically and lyrically? 
Well growing up I heard a lot of classic rock and world music which helped. From there I got into metal and it's a form of music that speaks to me because it's honest and high energy. As an adult I listen to a wide variety of music but mostly metal. Right now I am cranking Slayer and a beer Lofl. As far as lyrical inspiration I sing a lot about the world I see and the injustice and dark side of human beings. I am a fucked up person with a dark side so with all the booze and drugs it's not hard to write an album like this. That said I am not evil or pretend to be.
How does the band work as a unit, in regards to discussing a musical direction, is there one person who writes most of the music or do all members add something and how serious do you take your musical art?
Well I started the band and wrote a lot myself. On this album I wrote 7 of the songs and all of the lyrics. Eric did three and Matt and Morten write all of their parts. We all take it seriously but it's something we enjoy. I think Matt takes it the most serious because he is always pushing us in the business department which is great! Personally I just want to destroy everything and give people goose bumps.

You are currently are not signed to any record label (which is a shame as your album is killer) Is this a choice, was there or is there any label interest now that your new album is out and about?
No we are completely independent for now. Matt is a sound engineer so he recorded the album. As far as offers we have yet to have anything worthwhile to sign. I like the idea of steering the ship but if we find a deal in our best interest we would look into it. Would be nice to tour and not have to work though.....

If you could select 3 Metal albums, that would be your top of all time what albums would they be?
Metallica - Master Of Puppets, Slayer - South Of Heaven, Morbid Angel - Domination
It seems that you are all very ambitious and dedicated to your music, which is always a good thing. But what is it about Death Metal that makes you wanna play ow do you find the scene in your country? What bands would you recommend?
Canada I think is hard for bands because everything is a huge drive away.  Speaking of Canada check out Deamon from Ottawa!

Any last words? They are all yours...
Buy our record and play it till your ears bleed!
Dan on The Pit Radio Show pt 1 Dan appears on The Pit Radio Show
CKWR 98.5 - 06/18/2015
20.6 MB
Dan on The Pit Radio Show pt 2 Dan appears on The Pit Radio Show
CKWR 98.5 06/18/2015
20.6 MB
Dan on Indie 180 on Official FN Radio 

Dan, Eric, and Matt on the Crushed Beyond Dust Show with DJ REM 

Reviews - "Cataclysms and Beginnings"

I haven't had the chance to listen to their debut album, but here I have Fragile Existence's second full-length release to introduce me to their music.
The band was formed in 2007 and by the sound of this album I'd says the experience they gathered in the meantime is obvious, Cataclysms and Beginnings is such a complete Death Metal material that I think every serious follower of this genre will find something on his/her liking on it.
10 tracks, 48 minutes of brutal, technical, melodic Death Metal, a successful take on Traditional Death Metal seen from a modern, fresh perspective even with a slight touch of progressive to it, their music has it all, from mind-blowing guitar solos to incisive bass lines, blasting drums, from versatile and impressive vocals to semi-acoustic guitars, and from ultra-brutal parts to some more melodic and soft.
One of the most complete traditional Death Metal releases I've had the chance to listen to lately, one that offers instead of excessive anything, a steady, well-crafted and well-thought dose of everything, not sure if I make myself clear enough here.
Reviewed by Adrian



84 / 100
Release type: Full-length CD

Berto : Fragile Existence from Canada recently released their second album with 'Cataclysms And Beginnings' and it turned out to be a mature death metal album. The band knows how to write catchy death metal songs that not only try to pummel you to death, but also know when to change the tempo at the right time. The power and brutality of Nile combined with the progressive thoughts of Death, that is how you could describe the album. Great guitar work, a chunky grunt that runs nice and smooth and a rhythmic base that creates a nice flow and a great groove. From opener 'A Malignant Design' to closer 'The Skin Casket' this is a mature album that deserves a wide audience. A record for all time, one could say, where it combines the best from the 90's deat metal to the current extreme bands. Definitely recommended.



An old-school vibe prevails throughout Canadian Death Metallers Fragile Existence’s second album;  incendiary leads and all manner of classic Heavy Metal fundamentals  – you know, melody, groove, actual songs – ably accompanying the blast-beats and the rudimentary paraphernalia that tends to accompany generic Death Metal.  

Perversely, generic is an accurate description of opener “A Malignant Design”, a pretty standard Tech Death Metal excursion into well-charted territory that is accomplished but not particularly awe-inspiring. But don’t panic! On delving deeper this bands true agenda becomes immediately apparent; Death Metal may be the base but all manner of Metal sub genre-cornerstones are touched upon, resulting in a multi-layered and endlessly listenable album. 

Heavy on the groove, the six minute “Four Walls Of Emptiness” barely even qualifies as Death Metal, its hammer and anvil grind and semi-sung chorus hinting at Crowbar’s intensely crushing rhythms and Pantera circa “Cemetery Gates“, as opposed to the Tech Death this band could play in their sleep. “The Pathogenic Nightmare” also surprises, its controlled and concise bull-whip bludgeoning morphing into a traditional Heavy Metal riff-a-rama before the deathly grooves of Bolt Thrower come back to the fore. 

We suggest you think of Cataclysms And Beginnings as a particularly delicious cheesecake. As previously mentioned, Death Metal is the perfectly satisfactory and reliably solid biscuit base/crust but it’s what’s layered on top that counts. The filling, and the heart of Fragile Existence, is a decidedly rich, deep and satisfying mix of Heavy Metal’s fundamental ingredients; sweeping lead guitars, intricate solos and thick, artery-clogging riffs that always leave you craving more. The only thing left to mention is the copious amounts of surprisingly sweet melody that perfectly finish each track.; a topping that adds an undeniable edge and creates something truly gratifying in the process. 

Cheesecake then(!); the first time we have used a dessert as an analogy for Death Metal but one that works especially well when discussing the work of Fragile Existence. Both leave a classic taste in the mouth and Cataclysms And Beginnings is a particularly delicious slice of forward-thinking (and past-worshipping) Death Metal. Yum, more please. 



FRAGILE EXISTENCE is an Extreme/Death Metal band based out of Toronto, Canada, and formed in 2007. “Cataclysms and Beginnings” is the band’s second full-length album, and contains ten tracks. The band purports that they are not as simply categorizes as Death Metal, though this is probably the closest description.
From their bio, “With vocals ranging from guttural roars to ethereal shrieks, complex cascading guitar solos are anchored by hammering, vicious drumming, FRAGILE EXISTENCE is the new breed of Extreme Music.”
As I take in the album as a whole, I would have to agree with some of their points. One thing this is not, is stagnant, repetitive and narrowly defined Death Metal, in the traditional sense of genre boundaries. Though at its core it is certainly extremely brutal and relentless, the band is able to bring some additional sounds into the fold, and seems unwilling to allow any one compositional structure to dominate the landscape. They also have a pretty commanding presence of their musicianship and technical abilities. Strongest among this might be the drumming. Morten is able to vary the style several times during the same track so that it does not become repetitive. “Malignant Design” is a good example of this.
The vocal approach varies as well. Too often I find that many bands in this style are content to just lay on that super-low, guttural grunt as the only way to communicate the music. But here we have a combination of approaches. There are even semi-clean vocals here and there. “Limitless Genocide” is a track where I find the vocals are done particularly well in this way. The album is not entirely devoid of melody as well, which is another signature part of many bands performing this style of music. Though the main riffs and rhythm guitars are often done in that super speedy style and frequent pig squeals are heard, there are a lot of times where they meet in harmony for an extended passage, or in a breakdown of sorts where the guitar melody is the main focus. The solo section towards the end of “Accommodating Demise”, and in the song “Upon Serpents They Prey” keys in that spirit well.
Sometimes however the sheer punishing end of this style is the main focus of the song, and it’s the energy and punch that drive the sound, as in the track “Clandestine Laboratories of Unbridled Malevolence”. But just when you think you have figured things out pretty well, they throw a nice curveball at you with the final track “The Skin Casket”. Not only is it the longest song on the album, but it really breathes well from the opening, suspenseful acoustic passage. Ultimately it leads to punishing brutality in the main body of the track, but I appreciate the temperance displayed. Fans of Death Metal and Extreme Metal will find this to their liking. The musicianship is strong and the depth of skull cracking deep.

This is the second album by Canadian Death Metal band Fragile Existence.
Featuring the extremity of Hate Eternal, the groove of 90s Death Metal and the Progressive tendencies of Death, Fragile Existence’s second album is 48 minutes of timeless Death Metal that pays homage to multiple Death Metal styles yet remains its own beast.

The songs are interesting and varied enough to hold attention while retaining the core heaviness of Death Metal’s angry bite. 
Although they can pile on the blast beats when they need to, the songs are more about creating moods and telling musical stories than anything else. Cataclysms and Beginnings is full of mature songwriting in this sense, as these songs are very accomplished.

The vocals are mainly fleshy and deep; growls that are somewhere between a roar and a rasping shout. Staying at the deeper end of the grunting spectrum, the singer has a fluid aspect to his voice that stops him sounding completely guttural.The guitars on this album are very enjoyable. Tasty riffs and licks abound, and the amount and length of some of the solos make me a happy camper too.

The Progressive elements in the songs work seamlessly with the more brutal aspects to create songs that are satisfying on both levels. The band have taken the time to craft songs that have a purpose and meaning, rather than just stringing riffs together for the sake of it. The rhythm guitars, drums and bass work together to further the needs of the songs and all instruments have their chance to shine, but only when necessary.

This is a very complete album and by that I suppose I mean that it has a lot of different facets to it and enough depth of composition and delivery to make a lasting impression. It reminds me, in some ways, of Helping the World to See by Vehemence. The albums are similar in many ways, and both take the listener on a journey through interesting and thoughtful Death Metal.

Cataclysms and Beginnings is a very thorough, engaging and impressive slab of mature Death Metal. Definitely one for you to investigate further.


Canadian death metal squad Fragile Existence have vomited forth their follow up to debut record ‘Departing the Damned’ this year, entitled ‘Cataclysms and Beginnings’, featured ten of some of 2015’s finest deathly riffs and brutality.

From the offset, Fragile Existence present a highly polished machine of brutality and death metal. The riffs are technical but not overly so, the groove on opening track ‘A Malignant Design’ is sickening, and there’s plenty of vocal variations to keep you occupied. The steamroller groove continues into the title track, that hits heavier than the proverbial ton of bricks. There’s oodles of melody in the savage ‘Limitless Genocide’, and dashes of discordance in the thunderous ‘Four Walls of Emptiness’.

There is a misstep in ‘Four Walls of Emptiness’, with the cleaner vocal section that doesn’t quite match up with the brutality of the rest of the record, but its a minor complaint. With the crush of ‘Accomodating Demise’ and the brilliantly titled ‘Clandestine Laboratories of Unbridled Malevolence’ leading the way, Fragile Existence have got themselves an excellent record here. I especially dig the banging ‘Pathogenic Nightmare’ with its wicked soloing.

‘Cataclysms and Beginnings’ is slick, well executed death metal with some great songwriting. Headbanging groove meets raging blasting in a great mix of modern and vintage death metal styles. It doesn’t do anything new or fancy, but who needs that with riffs this good?


Often it’s nice when an album turns out to be more than what you are expecting of it. In the case of Canada’s Fragile Existence, Cataclysms and Beginnings looked like it was going to be an open and shut case of ‘textbook’ brutal death metal (note the logo and album art). But to dismiss Fragile Existence on that merit would be a mistake.

While opening up in what appeared to be standard brutal death metal with “A Malignant Design,” there was to be a shift as the album progressed. “A Malignant Design” used some heavy, classic death metal riffing with brutal vocals and seemed to be a good opening start for the band’s second release. Some solid chops in the guitar department, with the title track taking things one step further in that direction with a memorable solo midway through. By the time “Four Walls of Emptiness” kicks in, those more subtle melodies start to surface into more blatant ones. The death metal backbone is still there, but there is also more melody that pushes forward, along with some gritty clean vocals that do well to give the band some diversity. Some more strong leadwork characterizes “The Pathogenic Nightmare” and the acoustic opening to “The Skin Casket” again gives the band more melody than one might expect, while “Accommodating Demise” and “Exiled to Desolation” are sure to get the blood pumping with a more straight-laced death metal approach.

While Fragile Existence doesn’t veer too far out of death metal territory, it was a pleasant surprise to hear the number of melodies (without going ‘Gothenburg’) present on Cataclysms and Beginnings. Heavy enough for the death metal fanatic yet memorable enough to attract a more melodic audience. Can’t go wrong with that approach.



Toronto based death metal four piece FRAGILE EXISTENCE have unleashed a new nightmare in the form of ten chainsaw to face tracks, wrapped in complex and horrifying imagery created by artist Jon Zig. FRAGILE EXISTENCE is made up of Dan Glover (Vocals/Guitar), Eric Machacek (Guitars), Morten Siersback (Drums) and Matt Hems (Bass).

The album features seriously heavy riffs, often coalescing into extremely melodic (or maybe chaotic) harmonies, backed by a near the constant bass line giving it a very dark and ominous sound, best demonstrated on the track “Four Walls Of Emptiness”. The drums are deep and still somehow punchy giving them an almost machine gun quality, adding to the aggressive almost war like tone of the record. The vocals are very interesting in that they jerk viciously between the borders of guttural lows reminiscent of cannibal corpse, to almost clean wails more akin to Metallica. The eighth song, hints at a possible black metal influence, highlighted by huge blast beats, driving rhythms and jagged raw vocals.

The album closes out with “The Skin Casket”. A song that at first seems like an airy early 90’s alternative ballad, but quickly descends into a depth of darkness found nowhere else on the album. The song has the atmosphere of ice and torture, like being whipped with a frozen bicycle chain. I would recommend any fans of this genre to get their grubby little paws on this twisted delight. Here is yet another band that proves Canada is N2BFW when it comes to creating metal, and if you have the chance to check them out live, DO IT!! Rock On Gentleman!!!

Reviews - "Departing The Damned"



Toronto’s metal scene never stops amazing me, old school and new school alike. This time around, it pulls the best out of the mid to late 1990’s death metal era under the form of Fragile Existence.

Does the name sound familiar? This could very well be a reference to Chuck Schuldiner’s (of Death fame) Control Denied 1999 album, The Fragile Art of Existence. This album was one hell of a progressive album with all the elements of classic Death and surprisingly good traditional clean heavy metal vocals. Does Toronto’s Fragile Existence live up to those expectations in terms of style? Well, I’m not sure if it was intentional or not (the band is very careful about it), but I find it  a good reference point.

Founding member Dan Glover seems to have been writing Departing the Damned as he was still playing with brutal death metal Nephelium. Although it should ring a bell in terms of technical skills, the two bands sit on very different shelves.

Departing the Damned was likely not recorded in a multi-million studio. The sound is good, but probably closer to your average 1990 analog death metal band rather than the 2012 hi-tech production. One thing that I particularly enjoy is that you can hear every single instrument relatively well, especially the bass guitar. This might not be Steve DiGiorgio, but the playing is capturing exactly the combination of fast picking AND free style so important in progressive death metal. Kudos here.

The musicianship brings you all over the place without tiring your ear. Somehow, they found a way to capture technicality and melodies alike. While I mentioned bass guitar previously, it’s really the double guitars and drums that form the meat and bones. The guitar arrangements go from technical death to trash, in a general vibe (and production) that reminds me of early Disciples of Power. There is a great dose of skills put into the guitar solos, such as the cascading solo of “A Gradual Decline” that would easily fit on Megadeth’s Rust in Peace. More kudos here. As for the vocals, well, they’re a mix of both generic death metal growl and clean vocals à-la-Jamey Jasta, or with rough edges reminiscent of early death metal clean vocals.

While the music is a great success, and the production fulfills its purpose, it’s in the overall flow and tracklisting that the album deserve its weakest points. Although I can’t pinpoint any weak song, I can’t pinpoint any centrepiece either. As if the order of the songs didn’t bother much, it feels more like a collection of songs. A simple breather or a progressive surprise in the middle of the album might have solved the problem. A case in point, they dare looping one same stoner riff for about 2 min 45 towards the end of the last song, called “Manifestations of Iniquity”, with brilliant results. Here, to my honest opinion, the trick draws a lot of attention and works incredibly well, bringing an unexpected shift in musical direction, and making the song clock without any difficulty at 9:19 minutes. This is the kind of surprise I’d like to find in any follow up to Departing the Damned.

Last but not least, Fragile Existence offers us the perfect artwork to sum up this solid piece of metal. Some kind of nightmarish red incubus/succubus emerging from a dead body out of the pits of hell, its back turned to a cold and dark landscape. This is the superb art of John Zig (Disgorge, Suffocation, Deranged, Sinister, Dying Fetus, and many more).

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