Review Summary: To build upon what’s been done and try to improve, or at least be comparable to acts they are up against is the name of the game.
Fractal Gates is a French band whose debut album last year stirred the melodic death scene more than many other albums within recent years. The hidden depth in the album is what makes it so special. The entrancing melodies are more sinister then they appear, when you allow yourself to be taken by them, and not just listen to the structures and technicality of the songs, but the beauty and artistry within the sound. More than just a melodic death metal album, Fractal Gates push the boundaries and break them wide open combining certain aspects which enhance the album to dramatic scales. Progressive is not just a word used to describe the sound, it is but a single ideal this band has come to possess to distinguish themselves from other acts within the genre. Interludes that may just sound like fillers to many, take the atmosphere already created from the dynamic riffs and creates a cold and empty void within the listeners soul, bringing out a sense of loneliness and despair one might feel in the dark vacuum of space.
Opposed to other Melodeath bands, Fractal Gates bring a certain flare to this album that magnify the scope of the sound far more than anything else. From the opening track alone, it is clear we are going to be taken on a ride. But where will it lead us is the main question. The melodies hold a secure substance of doom and gloom in its riffs and ambiances. Deriving from the main Melodic Death formula may seem a bit advantageous with such a young band, but it is clear they are not an inexperience group when it comes to writing music. The production is very clear cut and refined which makes for a wide open, loud, distinctive listen. The lyrics are also very well written, taking cues from science fiction themes and philosophical ideals which is not too common within the death metal genre, yet it is never pretentious or absurd. An added element which makes this album a bit more appealing and conceptually is the magnificent cover art. From that alone, you can already have a composite view of what type of atmosphere you are going to be plunging in to. Songs such as ‘Skies of Orion’ and ‘The Departure’ depict very dramatic, expressive and dynamic sensations that venture further then what a common melodic death album contains. The sorrowful vocals power the songs to new heights, surpassing typical conservative melodeath ideals and propels the sentiments of the songs to do more than just sound nice, but to unlock deeper feelings then just anger, but to convey despair.
This album is easily recognizable in which route they have taken influenced by many bands to come before them, yet it would be wrong to call them generic. What Fractal Gates seemed to realize more than many bands in this current age, is to take what has been done, and reconstruct it from the ground up. To build upon what’s been done and try to improve, or at least be comparable to acts they are up against is the name of the game. Fractal Gates bring their own sense of style to the genre, more so then any other Melodic Death band in recent years perhaps, save 'In Mourning'. Comparisons can and always will be a tough obstacle to overcome for any band, yet Fractal Gates seem to understand this and are ready to take this challenge head on with full force and dedication.
Fractal Gates is a band that may want to be on some peoples 'watch' list within the next coming years. To have such an album already behind them is truly going to become a large stepping stone and building block for their career. The general ambiance of the album and atmosphere is going to be the key holding point and main success for this album, as the melodies themselves are not exactly anything new in terms of originality which may be the most defining drawback to this album overall. Its repetitiveness could be mistaking as a lack of direction for the songwriting. This release should be likely to attract more than just the avid Melodic Death listener, as by encompassing numerous characteristics of other genres, they open the doors wide open to draw in other types of metal-heads who may be looking for a deep and enveloping melodic voice that will literally put them in an 'Altered State of Consciousness'.
Yep, the review is definitely somewhat pretentious, but far from as pretentious as the examples Balls brought out. You try a bit too hard at times to sell this album at any cost (or at least that's how it reads), but your descriptions are pretty solid and it is well-written, so I'll pos.
But yeah, don't sound too hyperactive, because stuff like this
Interludes that may just sound like fillers to many, take the atmosphere already created from the dynamic riffs and creates a cold and empty void within the listeners soul, bringing out a sense of loneliness and despair one might feel in the dark vacuum of space
... might turn a few good people off, mainly because you're greatly overexagurating. Just because this record makes you feel such emotions doesn't mean it will have said effect on anyone. I appreciate your honesty in trying to carry out the emotions this album made you feel, but definitely try to be a bit more conservative next time when describing stuff like that (your overall writing style is absolutely your own choice, just, again, try to not sound pretentious and like you yourself said, don't embellish as much). Also, that sentence definitely made me laugh, and I doubt that was the effect you wanted to achieve with it haha ;) (in other words, make sure you don't sound too serious for your own good).
Oh btw, I have no idea why ABB here said that your writing is too long; the length is absolutely fine. Best of luck and welcome to the site.