Saturday 28 November 2015

Fractal Generator - ‘Apotheosynthesis’ (Album Review)

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 02/10/2015
Label: Independent

….if The Terminator was sound tracked by a tech death record, it would perhaps be this one, tracks such as “Into The Unknown” search and destroy with a furious cacophony of spiralling riffage and drums that rattle past you at incomprehensible speed.

Apotheosynthesis’ DD track listing:

1. Cycle
2. Face Of The Apocalypse
3. Abandon Earth
4. Into the Unknown
5. Paragon
6. Human
7. The Singularity
8. Synthetic Symbiosis
9. Reflections

The Review:

Canadian tech-death with a sci-fi theme: that is Fractal Generator. It is entirely generic, of course, with blurringly fast drums and grindingly fast guitars. The vocals growl. End of.

Fortunately for Fractal Generator and unfortunately for those readers of The Sludgelord wanting reviews of bands who play riffs so simple that you could learn guitar, re-write them and re-record them all before the end of the first track of their self released EP, I love tech death. Thus, it is easy to surmise that I would love Fractal Generator. First track “Cycle” is a ripping and blasting tale of frantic drumming. Follow up “Face of The Apocalypse” features a rather irritating electronic beep (sort of like an alarm countdown or a spaceship entering a landing dock... or something) which I don't dig as much, but the playing is flawless.

“Abandon Earth” is more dramatic and has a lovely sensibility to the riffing. Again, there is synth lurking here and there- fair play to the band trying to open up their palate a little. As noted in recent Arkaik and Rivers of Nihil reviews, to do this music, for so little reward, for the amount of effort it takes is either the peak of artistry/heroism or the definition of pointlessness- depending on your view point. For me, admiration is available in spades for these guys. “Into The Unknown” is a furious cacophony of spiralling riffage and drums that rattle past you at incomprehensible speed. The tempos actually settle a lot on this one- blasting occurs, of course, but a lot of the track is at a relatively sedate tempo. While being faster than most people can play, of course.

“Paragon” features lock tight double bass drums rolling away at that superb slow death metal tempo. Think Immolation's “rolling tank” sound crossed with Morbid Angel, or similar. This track, as do other moments of the album, has an almost black metal type sound to some of the riffs- they are cold and angular and sinister in feel. A stand out, track, then!!

“Human” is fast and furious, again with a sci-fi and technological (not just technical) bent. Some of the tempo shifts and time feels are quite unusual too- good stuff. The outro is cool too. “The Singularity” offers up more of the same – if The Terminator was soundtracked by a tech death record, it would perhaps be this one- white noise synths crop up behind raging brutal death metal. “Synthetic Symbiosis” has an electronic intro which gives way to Dissection paced thrashing riffage. Again, there are tempo changes aplenty, with the overall effect quite bewildering.

“Reflections” comes in at number 9 to close proceedings. As is standard now, the track allows for a little light and shade from the band, as they again plunder the vibe of T2's futuristic scenes for a bleak and dystopian vibe. Samples abound regarding the universe, time and space. The band then goes for a full on instrumental of unusual riffs and time feels. As a closing statement it works brilliantly and book ends the record in great style. And yet... there is more! Kudos to the band for adding a” secret track”! That welcome feature of the CD era makes a return here. You get just under three minutes of added bonus music, which turns out to be a bleak little sinister instrumental.

As noted, Fractal Generator is of the genre and that is where they will remain. Not for them the plaudits of the Metal Hammer “Golden God” awards, perhaps never will they feature in a Terrorizer “band of the month” article. Nuclear Blast will not sign them. They exist, drifting through the asteroid field of sub genres, frantically trying to make human contact. I read their signal loud and clear, and I raise a salute to them, even as they go where many have gone before. The band are great at what they do and they have made a really good tech death album. Mission accomplished.

‘Apotheosynthesis’ is available here

FFO: Nile, Immolation, Dissection, Morbid Angel

Band info: bandcamp | facebook