Review FRACTAL UNIVERSE ‘The Impassable Horizon’

French metal outfit Fractal Universe started in 2013 and let the debut album ‘Engram of Decline’ off the leash in 2017. This record paved the way for the band to sign a deal with Metal Blade Records, who released the sophomore album ‘Rhizomes of Insanity’ in 2019.

Another three years later the quartet add a next longplayer to their list of achievements. ‘The Impassable Horizon’ is the title of an 11 songs featuring longplayer that stretches to frames of extreme metal.

A song that manifests this very well is ‘Withering Snowdrops’. Fractal Universe creates excitement by combining various styles and sounds to a rather unique mixture. The album, as well as ‘Withering Snowdrops’ isn’t easy to digest and doesn’t unveil all the details right away. This longplayer needs time to develop. If listeners invest time into ‘The Impassable Horizon’ they will get an impressive sound collage in return. Harsh death metal outbreaks with deep growls, brutal and racing riffs are part of this sound collage as well as melodic and clean section that are partly enriched with jazz-laden saxophone. In case you start to get curious about hos such a mixture sounds like I can recommend listening to ‘Black Sails of Melancholia’.

‘The Impassable Horizon’ is a versatile and complex album. Progressive song structures are the common denominator that strings all song together. The greatness that comes with the album is the fact that Fractal Universe never overexert the listener. The moment, layers kick in heavily, songs often take a twist towards a melodic segment that helps the listener to regroup before the next sonic progressive challenge starts off. A song that shows this approach in perfection is ‘A Clockwork Expectation’, a tune with twist and tweaks, adding suspense and thrill to these five minutes of musical creativity.

‘Creativity’ is a good term to describe Fractal Universe. There seems to be a flow of creativity since the band started to write song for this album even before the second longplayer hit the shelves. In addition, the lyrical approach is also much more than a vanilla way how to combine words. Fractal Universe’s new longplayer shows a density when it comes to music and shows a solid theme which is the exploring of the concept of death and the human relation to it.

‘The Impassable Horizon’ is a great piece of music. It is asking some effort from listeners since complexity wins over ease. However. The quartet manage to make this album to a fascinating musical exploration journey where emotions collide and blend into each other. This album touches the human mind as well as it attracts the soul of listeners. Thumbs up.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Autopoiesis
  2. A Clockwork Expectation
  3. Interfering Spherical Scenes
  4. Symmetrical Masquerade 
  5. Falls of the Earth
  6. Withering Snowdrops
  7. Black Sails of Melancholia
  8. A Cosmological Arch        
  9. Epitaph
  10. Godless Machinists
  11. Flashes of Potentialities (Unplugged)

Label: Metal Blade Records

Genre: Progressive Death Metal

Release Date EU: June 25th, 2021

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