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Their second LP after a 6 year wait, Canada’s death metal trio Fractal Generator return with 9 scathing tracks designed to unsettle and stimulate in equal measure.
Macrocosmos starts with some odd alien throbbing sample before the band crunch their way brutally through an odd time signature at breakneck speed. The riffs and vocals are straight out of the perfect death metal checklist, the drumming is technical without being robotic, performed immaculately through gritted teeth, and the melodies waver from chunky to unnerving, with the synth samples and polyrhythms there to keep things intriguing. Tight string synth arrangements charge at us as quickly as the guitars, the bass simmers behind excoriating vocals, and the guitars pound through the airwaves. It’s difficult to believe this can be reduced just ‘death metal’ when the production is so sharp and the musicianship so precise, and the sci-fi element – the artwork, the band member names as numbers, the space travel theme – are a strong nod to technical/progressive work that we may see more of in albums to come.
Occasionally, the samples, clicks, and whirrs seem a little out of place, or at least need embellishing for them to have any real impact, and the warped black-ish vocals distract from the normal ferocity of their usual delivery. But the aggression, constant tension, and high pace of the record is reminiscent of a prime Hate Eternal, and the production work is something Erik Rutan himself would be proud of. The difference between this and their first release is stark, and the 5 years’ worth of effort they put into this album is evident from the off. A solid addition to anyone’s death metal list for 2021.
Release date: January 15, 2021
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