Fractal Gates
Beyond The Self


4.0
excellent

Review

by Magnus Altkula STAFF
February 21st, 2013 | 46 replies


Release Date: 02/18/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Beyond The Self proves that it is still possible to do good in melodic death metal without breaking any new ground

For all the flack contemporary melodic death metal gets (mostly deservedly so), there are a few groups from the 2000s who are rooted in MDM and who have taken the metal world by storm. In Mourning, Be’lakor, Woe of Tyrants and Insomnium are a couple of names that spring to mind instantly and even if melodic death metal is a genre that has largely ran its course (quality-wise), it doesn’t eliminate the chance of some bands still doing good in it. One such band is a little group from France called Fractal Gates, who wouldn’t be totally out of place when put into the list above. With their sophomore effort, the band has taken a positive leap forward and might just be ready for critical acclaim.

Fractal Gates was only conceived in 2007 and released their debut album Altered State of Consciousness in 2009 to generally positive reviews. It was not perfect though, because while atmospherically sound and very catchy, the songs sometimes lacked a killer move to pierce the final hook through the listener. Regardless, Fractal Gates exhibited great potential on their debut, and on Beyond The Self, the band is already capitalizing on it. They haven’t changed much of anything to be fair, but they have worked out the kinks and because of that, Beyond The Self sounds like a much more complete record that can hang with the big boys of the genre. It might not be a Colony or The Gallery, but as far as conventional melodeath goes, it doesn’t get a whole lot better these days.

The thing with Fractal Gates is they aren’t pioneering anything. The minute you start expecting to hear something completely unique your experience will be marred. But when it’s catchy melodic death metal anthems you are after, look no further, as Beyond The Self is chock-full of addictive melodic riffs that will stay in your head for a good while. It’s true that Fractal Gates play the same cards every time, yet they always manage to win. All the songs on Beyond The Self are exclusively built on catchy, gliding riffs that are designed to win the crowd over. And Fractal Gates do – with Beyond The Self they can even get the pompous music snobs in the back to tap their feet. Guitarists Stéphane Peudupin and Arnaud Hoarau then sprinkle some melodic leads and licks over the more chunky main riffs and voila, despite it sounding boringly facile, Fractal Gates have a winning recipe. "Beauty lies in simplicity" is the saying, and Fractal Gates have definitely built their album up on that. In a successful manner, mind you.

It’s more than an array of catchy riffs though that makes Beyond The Self so good. The attention to detail is never lost and just when you think you’ve had enough of the same melody/riff, a new dynamic is introduced by the way of a slick lead, drum pattern or a change in pace. In addition to that, Beyond The Self never strays from the lively pace it sets itself with the first full track, titled "Dissonance". Pure energy is often times the deciding factor between an album sinking or swimming, and Fractal Gates have plenty of energy in store.

If there’s anything that can be complained about, it’s that sometimes the compositions on offer do sound too simple for their own good, even if they are outrageously catchy. It isn’t enough to bring down what is an excellent melodic death metal album, though. The melodies are too soaring to say no to and the tone of the album instantly brings to mind Gothenburg greats from the ’90s, albeit this time in a way that makes one proud, not crave for the glory days of old. Fractal Gates have been honing their craft and even though their shtick is the same, Beyond The Self outperforms its predecessor in every way. It’s more cohesive, the highlights shine brighter, and there is a strong sense of maturity about this record. The band isn’t exactly in line to rock the whole world of metal, but in a done-to-death genre, coming off with something uplifting is already a win in itself. Fractal Gates have found their flame in burnt-out ashes and said flame should only grow with time.



Recent reviews by this author
Atrum Tempestas NeantEluveitie Origins
MiXE1 Starlit SkinDoom:VS Earthless
Nocturnal Breed Napalm NightsThyrien Hymns of the Mortals - Songs from the North
user ratings (19)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 21st 2013


8368 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Timeless: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrFT84FIxBU

Dissonance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXYXRlNE4rw

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 21st 2013


7047 Comments


Are you starting to write longer dude? It's good fills out the space quite nicely. Auto-imaginary-pos : ]

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 21st 2013


8368 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha, actually I think this is a normal length review for me. It might look a bit lengthier due to the new format. And thanks man (PS, I do intend to read your latest, so stay tuned).

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 21st 2013


7047 Comments


Thanks dude, which latest lol?

Keyblade
February 21st 2013


14890 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Im kinda disappointed with this man. Gonna give it another spin, but it's lacking the atmosphere and crushing guitar tone of the debut, and the vocals and riffs seem kinda generic.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 21st 2013


7047 Comments


Also, I noticed there is some great melodeath releases coming around the same time

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 21st 2013


8368 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Keyblade
It is what it is man - catchy melodeath that doesn't break any new ground. It definitely won't appeal to everyone. I wouldn't say that the atmosphere is lost though and imo, in general, the riffs are cooler here than they were on the debut.

@Ipod
The one you shoutboxed me haha. Also, what other good mdm releases have come out recently besides this and Omnium Gatherum? I haven't really noticed any (and I'm skeptical about Mors Principium Est).

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
February 21st 2013


14450 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Mors' album was really good, this sounds interesting too, on the list it goes.

Digging: Brian Eno - Ambient 4: On Land

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 21st 2013


7047 Comments


I can have a review up in 5min's if you want a detailed one. Apart from < this one:

In Arkadia – Eyes Of The Archetype
Blood Of God – The Fall And Rise Of Man
Omnium Gatherum
Forlorn Path – Man’s Last Portrait

want more...?


Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 21st 2013


8368 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not exactly because too much melodeath in too little time can be hazardous for the health ;). Thanks though, I haven't heard of In Arkadia nor Forlorn Path, so I may look into them at one point.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 21st 2013


7047 Comments


Lascaille’s Shroud – Interval 01: Parallel Infinities-the Inner Universe
Thoughts Of Rejection – Thoughts Of Rejection
Dawn Of Memories – In The Sign Of Sin

Most of these are all Feb releases

Keyblade
February 21st 2013


14890 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Not exactly because too much melodeath in too little time can be hazardous for the health ;)

haha

apparently Noumena are gonna put out an album this year, so you might have to make an exception

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 21st 2013


8368 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I would most certainly make one for Noumena, but they have been talking about putting out a new album since like 2010 if I remember correctly, so I'm a little doubtful about it actually happening.

Ponton
Emeritus
February 21st 2013


5793 Comments


riffs pretty good m/

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 21st 2013


8368 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Damn right, man!

SpiritCrusher2
February 21st 2013


3074 Comments


gonna listen to this tonight, nice review btw

CaptainDooRight
February 21st 2013


29439 Comments


prolly won't dig but nice write up

Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta III ? Saturnian Poetry

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 21st 2013


8368 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah you prolly won't Captain, although you never know, you can give one of the tracks I posted above a go. And SpiritCrusher, I hope you like the album.

CaptainDooRight
February 21st 2013


29439 Comments


yea bro I prolly will at least to give it a whirl, all things deserve a chance, truth

FrozenVain
February 21st 2013


2438 Comments


"But when it’s catchy melodic death metal anthems you are after, look no further, as Beyond The Self is chock-full of addictive melodic riffs that will stay in your head for a good while. "

Sounds like my thing then. Really good review once again, Metalstyles.

"Beyond The Self outperforms its predecessor in every way."

Ohh! I will definitely check this out.

pos'd (If I could that is, but you get the point)



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy