FRACTAL UNIVERSE - Boundaries Of Reality

Fractal Universe - Boundaries Of Reality

4 songs
24:16 minutes
***** ***
(self-released)

Bandpage

Nancy based technical progressive death metal band Fractal Universe are still so new to the scene that they currently don’t have yet a presence on the gigantic Metal Archives, but that doesn’t mean that the young French quartet has not much yet to offer. Vocalist and guitarist Vince is currently playing live guitar for Luxembourgish progressive death metal band Scarred, whose last album "Gaia-Medea" was one of the best local albums to ever be released. This parallel alone should leave you curious.

Boundaries Of Reality comes only one year after the band’s foundation, but the four track EP does never sound like a premature effort. The songs are all running between five and eight minutes. The opener and longest track Mourning The Loss Of A Dim Glance starts with a programmed orchestral intro before the band enters fully fledged into some of the most technical melodic death metal I have ever encountered. Don’t be mistaken: this isn’t some kind of self-indulgent djent masturbation. Instead the musicians are always taking care of never losing the melodies from view, even if at times it seems as if three different movements are occurring simultaneously. The vocal performance is surprisingly melodic even though these are death grunts and growls. Maybe the delicate instrumentation lets them shine less evil than they actually are.

The following songs continue in that direction. The band’s major influences are Obscura, Death, Cynic and Necrophagist, although I also thought to discern some parallels to later Pestilence. So yes, we are in the presence of thinking man’s death metal, and while this is certainly not how the genre originally started out, I still enjoy encountering truly progressive death metal bands that use the primal force of the genre’s aggression and adorn it with technical stunts while never losing sight of what is important, namely purposeful songwriting.

As things are, Fractal Universe’s debut EP Boundaries Of Reality is a truly amazing entry into the metal universe, proving once again that France really has a lot of great metal music to offer. On the EP, the drums have still been programmed, and it shows a little in the overall mix. It is not a major problem, but I am convinced that the flesh and blood drummer that has since joined the band will give the whole enterprise an even more organic feeling. Fractal Universe is a band you should really be looking out for.

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