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Fractal Universe - Engram Of Decline Award winner

Fractal Universe
Engram Of Decline
by Andrej Romić (Nekrst Fanzine) at 17 July 2017, 9:17 PM

FRACTAL UNIVERSE first grabbed my attention in 2016, with their 2015 debut EP “Boundaries of Reality”. Nowadays the France-based quartet is a pretty good band, and although they were formed only four years ago, their first full-length “Engram of Decline” proves there is a lot of mastership behind the members. Using a pretty originally sounding, beautifully composed Technical Death Metal flow that is spiced up with tons of progressiveness, this album contains ten tracks you simply must hear.

Premiss to Reality” is a fine start – and it already shows how much the band has improved since their first EP. The signing with Kolony Records did good things, although the band members have surely practiced a lot to make this album a reality. Instead of brainless playing, the band focuses more on the beautiful side of the Technical Death Metal genre, giving us lots of calmer and progressive riffs, leaning more on the complex and not the speedy side of playing. The vocals sound incredibly deep, the guitar tuning is perfect, the bass is absolutely audible and the drums are nailed perfectly.

Sons of Ignorance” is a bit different than the previous one, speeding up a bit, just to show off for a while, but I know the band inside out and they definitely are more than just “one of the Technical Death bands”. They are an interesting world of genre combinations. “Scar Legacy of Hatred” starts off calmly, with harsh, deep guitar riffs that echo around a lot and keep fading in and out. That’s the situation at the start, and later the epic riffs start dominating the overall atmosphere. I kind of dislike the vocals, but I appreciate that they are focused on being less harsh and more understandable. Nevertheless, the overall atmospheric touches in this song are just amazing, and although I might not like the vocals too much, I still adore the instrumentation on the entire album; it reminds me of NYN, OBSCURA, ALKALOID and such bands - ones that combine Progressive and Technical Metal.

Parricidal Ghosts” gave me some hope regarding the vocals, for here they sound deeper and deeper; not like it’s the only thing I am aiming for, but they are better and better with every song. “Venomous Coils of a Holy Fallacy” is yet another beautiful song, but my favorite so far. The intro could easily put one to sleep, and I was genuinely yawning at the first few seconds; but don’t take this as a negative point – it is definitely a compliment. The vocals are also calm at the start, making this song atmospheric, progressive, and pretty un-technical (at least at the start), but later things get out of hand as the modern Djent influenced Technical riffs start dominating. “Backworldsmen” is a combination of the harsh and elegant sides of the band’s style. “A Name to Deny” is another track that could easily trick you to think it’s a start of a composition, because it has a nice piano intro, with some elegantly fading in violins in the background. If you’ve paid attention, you’ll know it’s not likely that the entire song will sound like this, and at the end of the first minute, riffs start raining mercilessly from the sky, the vocals pack a seriously strong punch, the drums are unleashed, the bass is strong and tasty, everything is sped up and played with enormous speeds and complexions. By now, I regret what I said about the vocals earlier, because they only got better later on.

Narcissistic Loop” slowly brings us closer to the end, but there is no sign of slowing down. The brutal guitar parts show no mercy here. “Decline” has an interesting start, once again orchestral but in a Metal variant, making the instruments dictate what happens next; setting the guitars as leaders, only letting the vocals in later, but for a good reason, because when the two are mixed, anybody would fall in love not only with the song, not only with the album, but with the band itself. “Collective Engram” is a nice way to end everything, once again featuring calm starts and rough endings and middle parts; two worlds that don’t belong together and yet these crazy maniacs have set the two into war, giving us a beautifully harsh combination.
What an album, guys. What an amazing, interesting album.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1.Premiss to Reality
2.Sons of Ignorance
3.Scar Legacy of Hatred
4.Parricidal Ghosts
5.Venomous Coils of a Holy Fallacy
7.A Name to Deny
8.Narcissistic Loop
10.Collective Engram
Hugo Florimond - Guitars
Vince Wilquin - Vocals, Guitars
Valentin Pelletier - Bass
Clément Denys - Drums
Record Label: Kolony Records


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Edited 28 May 2023

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