Review Summary: Fractured infuse genres by building on their last release to create another album the industrial community can be proud of.3 of 3 thought this review was well written
When Fractured burst into the industrial mainstream in 2005 with Only Human Remains
, it was one of the most influential electro-industrial albums of the current time. Six years later people still chatter about Nick Gorman’s soaring vocals and his glitch influenced electro beats found on that “landmark” album. Finally after the past 6 years we get to see what has taken him so long to produce. Beneath The Ashes
is Fractured’s new album and while it retains Gorman’s core sound, it also brings many other electronic genres to play that help create a colossal album, resulting in one of the best surprises of 2011.
It would be a mistake for Fractured to rid themselves of the formula that made Only Human Remains
so popular, so instead they just add other elements that strengthen their sound. From the beginning of the album to the end, the sound progressively changes from industrial, to electro-industrial, to a pseudo brand of aggrotech adding in dubstep, harsh screams and heavy synths. While a good portion of the album’s vocals are clean, the bits that are harsh styled are ironically the better songs found here. Even though we are exposed to many different genres in such a short time, the album’s sound remains organized and audible throughout its length. The different sounds are mixed well enough that one song isn’t heavier in one section than another and one song doesn’t sound like it belongs on the Rottun Records roster.
The most common thing amongst all of the songs present on this album is how catchy the songs are. Towards the beginning of the album songs like “(You Are) The Voice Inside My Head" and “Anethetic” feature more synthpop beats with lofty, high pitched vocals, compared to the end of the album where the songs feature mostly harsh vocals. The most prominent dubstep influence is found in “Save Me” which features a simple bass line, but also layers harsh screams onto it to give it an interesting mix of sounds. Towards the end of the album it tends to get heavier, with more metal riffs played in with the present screams to produce an industrial metal theme. The album's most popular song, “Straight Jacket Fashion”, also has some dubstep layered in with the album's most vicious, harsh vocals.
Beneath The Ashes
could be one of the best industrial albums of the new year. Its massive blend of genres not only makes for one hell of an interesting listen, but it also makes something of quality and a great building point for an already established band. It was a smart move to not change their known, trademark sound, and to add the current elements that give them the much needed energetic punch that is ever present in their newest full length.