ALBUM REVIEW: Engram Of Decline – Fractal Universe

French based progressive metal visionaries FRACTAL UNIVERSE are due to release their highly anticipated debut full length and follow up to their 2015 EP Boundaries of Reality entitled Engram Of Decline via Kolony Records on April 14th and you may need to ensure your seatbelts are fully adjusted as you are in for one hell of a journey.

Engram Of Decline constantly keeps you guessing as it meanders through a varied assortment of quirky time signatures, hitting you at every turn with ruthless blastbeats and piercing vocals as the quartet encapsulate you in a maze of riffs. In particular, the combination of Sons Of Ignorance and Scar Legacy Of Hatred are both packed to the brim with beautifully crafted insanity and just as you feel your head is about to spin off Venomous Coils of a Holy Fallacy is a welcome change of pace inundated with hypnotic riffs.

Considering the progressive metal scenes tendency to lean towards more extensive compositions for the most part FRACTAL UNIVERSE have devised very digestable tracks which keep the listener enticed and engaged. They combine the harmonious subtleties of OPETH, the merciless pace of OBSCURA and the bludgeoning force of GOJIRA to devastating effect but where they particularly shine is on the title track and album closer Engram Of Decline, ironically when they begin to dial down the vicious assault they are at their most captivating with eerie whispering verses and a more methodical pace.

FRACTAL UNIVERSE are clearly an intellectual and forward thinking band especially when you consider their endeavour to constructed such an elaborate concept based around Nietzsche’s ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’ and the evolution of human thought which is interwoven throughout the album (for more insight you can read our recent interview with the band) and the only potential criticism is that the grittiness of frontman Vince Wilquin’s vocal onslaught becomes a tad formulaic by the time you reach the culmination of what is a rich and satisfying collection of tracks. The inclusion of guest spots by Michael Keene (THE FACELESS) and the saxophone solo courtesy of Jorgen Munkby (SHINING) are a huge statement that FRACTAL UNIVERSE are making waves and are not to be taken lightly.

Rating: 8/10

Engram of Decline - Fractal Universe

Engram Of Decline is due to release on April 14th via Kolony Records.