Fractal Universe – The Impassible Horizon (Metal Blade)Wednesday, 30th June 2021
Fractal Universe really seemed to get all of their metallic ducks in a row for 2019’s Rhizomes of Insanity. A great step up from their debut, which utilized a more diverse energy and greater dynamic. The Impassible Horizon continues to do all of the things that Fractal Universe does well, and expands upon them give lift the band to greater heights.
The band continues to flex the proggy/technical muscles that they have had, but the way it is done continues to feel more seamless. There’s much more to offer at this point beyond just digging into the crazy riffage and complex rhythms. Gentle, flowing saxophone injections (see “Black Sails of Melancholia”), energetic and thrashy grooves (“Falls of the Earth”), and some increased usage of clean vocals and putting them into playful arrangements (“A Clockwork Expectation”) all play their part in weaving a more grandiose tapestry for the band to maneuver in. While it could also have its pitfalls, the band’s continued use of conceptualizing their albums, and a tight songwriting sensibility allow them to make the most of their toolkit. Those seeking the complex and intricate stuff shouldn’t feel worried either, as “Interfering Spherical Scenes” and opener “Autopeiosis” should quickly resolve any potential alarm, with both breakneck melodies and spiraling/frantic riffing that is bound to immediately catch your ear. In other words, there’s a bit of everything for those seeking progressive and extreme material.
Fractal Universe continues to improve themselves with each release. The Impassible Horizon is a catchy yet complex piece of technical/progressive metal that rewards the listener for each successive listen. There’s much to enjoy across the band’s sound, and the way in which they are able to generate both darkness and melody, not to mention inspiring compositions, is quickly making them a band to watch.