Review Summary: Adding new influences to their sound, Killing the Dream produces an album that showcases everything that is great in modern hardcore.
After a more-than-solid debut on Deathwish, Killing the Dream underwent a huge lineup change losing two of their major songwriters which made me wonder if new members would push this band in a new direction for Fractures. Thankfully, Killing the Dream retained their signature sound, doing nothing but improving it.
After the short intro “(Re)Acquaintance,” the listener is assaulted by the abrasive "Part II (Motel Art)” that shows any doubters that Killing the Dream is back. New guitarists DJ Rogers and Patrick Guild drop some punishing riffs, backed by one of the best rhythm crews in hardcore in Christopher Chase and Isaac Frantini. Front man Elijah Horner had some problems with his voice in between albums, but his raw voice continues to force his emotions on the listener all throughout Fractures. After this opener it's clear that Killing the Dream haven't missed a beat.
The title-track introduces some new experimentation that is present on the album. "Fractures" opens with a calm intro that appears as if it will lead into some chaotic hardcore frenzy, but surprisingly it is followed by a towering, atmospheric riff. This matches Horner's vocals perfectly, being the perfect backdrop to his emotional vocals. This type of riffing is found on all parts of the album, most notably at the end one of the best tracks on the album, "Thirty Four Seconds." These new techniques establish Killing the Dream above the "breakdowns and gang vocals" style that water down the hardcore genre.
The rest of the album is features Killing the Dream picking their spots perfectly, always balancing their traditional hardcore sound with their new experimentation. This band does so much in two-minute songs, it's incredible. Also, there is guest spot on "You're All Welcome" from Rob from Ruiner which works out great. When the band does stretch out the song length in the closer entitled "Resolution," the band produces an incredible conclusion to that album that ends with a triumphant buildup that leaves the listener wanting more, but also satisfied with what they've been given.
Killing the Dream brings down the house with Fractures, delivering a modern hardcore masterpiece that gives something to all fans of the genre. This album has it all: breakdowns, gang vocals for the moshers and great songwriting, emotional lyrics for those wanting something to break the mold. An immense production job from J. Robbins brings it all together and makes Killing the Dream sound heavier than ever. But the best thing about this album is that it shows a modern hardcore band bringing new things to the table, a thing that hasn't been happening as much as it should. With that said, 2008 has been great for hardcore so far, with Killing the Dream and Deathwish leading the way for the genre.