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Fractal Mirror - Close to Vapour

Fractal Mirror
Close to Vapour
by Eric Tinmouth-Poulin at 19 March 2018, 9:24 AM

FRACTAL MIRROR are a progressive rock outfit formed in 2013 by Leo Koperdraat and Frank L. Urbaniak (both in Netherlands and USA respectively), recently signed to Bad Elephant Music, and this is their 4th full length release, entitled “Close To Vapour”, covering 10 tracks and clocking in at 50 min 24 sec. “Mind The Gap” opens up with some mellow guitars and we are immediately introduced to the voice of Leo Koperdraat, who in part reminds me of THE BEATLES and TOM PETTY. This is a very catchy opener with nice atmospheres provided by the synths.

Book” keeps it pace much slower, and is immersed in acoustic guitars, keyboards and should definitely please fans of STEVEN WILSON. The chorus is very memorable in this one. “Beyond The Pale” has a nice jazzy feel to it in the early stages, and succeeds in being melancholic and mesmerizing at the same time. It does everything well, including staying in your brain once the song has finished. “White Sounds”, starts off very quiet but also has one of the loudest and more powerful solos on the album, and it is well controlled. The vocals here really shine of such legends as DAVID BOWIE and JOHN LENNON. This song would fit perfectly if were watching a movie where the main character is doing some serious soul-searching.

Silver” is much more energetic than its predecessor. This is a very easy-listening track, very “happy go lucky”. You could say this is a journeyman’s song. “Close To Vapour” is the title track and definitely my favorite because it has so many transitions. Very progressive in parts, much more distortion in the guitars, intricate drum parts, choirs and even flutes. This one packs a heavy punch. “Snow” is like an interlude, where we hear some radio chatter and makes us feel like we are astronauts traveling in space. It serves its purpose well as it immediately transitions to the next song. “Hey You”, the most joyful piece of the album that could definitely be a hit single, if given the opportunity, it is simple and gets its message across, one of memories and morality.

Tabula Rasa” follows the tempo of the first half of the album and once again has a very memorable chorus, one of the strong suites of the band. This leads us to the finale “The Ever Rain” that embraces the listener with beautiful mellotron and some lower-tone vocals.  One of those closers you can listen to while admiring what is outside the windowpane. Overall I would say this album really flows well (even the singer mentions this in the vocals where he goes with the flow). Nothing over the top here, but it is a well-executed progressive rock effort.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Mind The Gap
2. Book
3. Beyond The Pale
4. White Sounds
5. Silver
6. Close To Vapour
7. Snow
8. Hey You
9. Tabula Rasa
10. The Ever Rain
Lineup:
Leo Koperdraat - Voice, Mellotron, Guitars, Keyboards, Recorder, Programming
Frank L. Urbaniak - Drums & Percussion
Brett Kull (Echolyn) - Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Ed van Haagen - Occasional Keyboards
Record Label: Bad Elephant Music
     


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