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Fractal Universe - Rhizomes of Insanity Award winner

Fractal Universe
Rhizomes of Insanity
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 23 April 2019, 6:14 AM

Founded in late 2014, FRACTAL UNIVERSE is a Progressive Death Metal band from Nancy, France. The band released its first EP, "Boundaries of Reality", in February 2015, and played numerous shows in support of it. With the release of their first full-length, "Engram of Decline," in April 2017 via Kolony Records, FRACTAL UNIVERSE received even more exposure in international press (Terrorizer, Rock Tribune, Rock Hard, etc.), before touring throughout Europe and appearing at various festivals including Hellfest Open Air, Durbuy Rock Festival and MetalDays. Recently, Metal Blade Records offered the band a worldwide deal for the release of their second album, “Rhizomes of Insanity.”

“Oneiric Realisations” opens the album. Hushed Progressive tones open the album, leading to some deep Death vocals and some technical elements. At around the half way mark, the sound drops a bit and then returns with intensity. “Flashes of Potentialities” opens with bass guitar notes and some clean guitars, and a darkness seeps in. The main riff drops, and a flurry of blast beat drums with it. The main verse is clean…somewhat despondent but without some of the technical trickery. The sound waxes and wanes…from superfast Progressive energy to slower, more deliberate ambiance. “Rising Oblivion” is fast and furious out of the gate. Their command of time and meter is spectacular, playing with it like God controlling puppets on a string. The hushed vocals give it a solemn sound that comes out like a lion from a cage.

“A Reality to Foreclose” starts off with a slow, lumbering riff and an ominous feeling. Clean guitar tones put the ominous feeling to rest…for now. Deep, Death vocals come into play along with a dissonant riff, in a RIVERS OF NIHIL type of feeling. Lead guitar notes provide some direction for the track a little further in, as they spin time again like masters. “Masterpiece’s Parallelism” is highly technical from the start. The riff bounces off the ground here and there like a large rubber ball, hitting accents at the perfect time, while the lead guitar provides a legato juxtaposition to the rhythms. They let in a little more melody here as well. “Parabola of Silence” is a much softer song at the start, with hushed vocal tones, but it turns angry on a dime and comes straight at you. It comes together somewhere in the middle for the chorus.

“Madness’ Arabesques” opens with soft dissonant guitar and bass notes. It then comes in heavy and aggressive, before returning to the haunting tones in the beginning. “Architectural Aberrations” is angry and intense from the opening notes. Some clean harmonic vocals help to cut this just a bit. It takes a technical turn towards the end, closing with a brief instrumental passage. “Fundamental Dividing Principle” opens with a funky cadence, almost impossible to you to count the meter here. The bass guitar thwaks away while the vocals start off clean then absolutely rage. Everything is in its proper place here and the darkness is absolutely deafening.

“Chiasmus of the Damned” closes the album. Opening with clean guitar tones and easy listening vocals, it builds a slight cadence, before it turns to the dark side. Lead guitar tones are done deftly and with much skill, as it comes to a crescendo at the end in a brilliant display of songwriting. Overall, this is some pretty menacing material, but presented with careful considerations. Their technical ability is easily noteworthy, and as I said earlier they can toy with the meter with absolute precision. But they know how to hold everything in check and when to release the Kraken, and the darkness that permeates the album as a whole is just brilliant.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9


4 Star Rating

1. Oneiric Realisations
2. Flashes of Potentialities
3. Rising Oblivion
4. A Reality to Foreclose
5. Masterpiece’s Parallelism
6. Parabola of Silence
7. Madness’ Arabesques
8. Architectural Aberrations
9. Fundamental Dividing Principle
10. Chiasmus of the Damned
Vince Wilquin – Guitar/Vocals
Hugo Florimond – Guitar
Valentin Pelletier – Bass
Clément Denys – Drums
Record Label: Metal Blade Records


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