Fractal Generator – Macrocosmos
Everlasting Spew Records
Release Date: 15/01/2021
Running Time: 42:18
Review by Dark Juan
Greetings and salutations, dear friends! I trust I find you busily subverting the Church of lies and its nefarious teachings? Yes, yes, I know it is Sunday evening and ‘I’m A Celebrity’ is on and if you’re from Gogledd Cymru you’re very excited because its being filmed at Gwrych Castle and you might get a glimpse of those two tiny Geordie psychopaths PJ and Duncan or Liz off of Coronation Street. That’s no excuse. Myself, I prefer to flagellate myself with twigs of gorse whilst looking at pictures of Saoirse Ronan and tighten my Satanic cilice around my thigh a couple more notches rather than watch that lowest common denominator shite. I like it when the red water comes out…
And I have appeared to happily happen (pleasingly alliterative) upon an album that is a mightily satisfying soundtrack to all manner of self-punishment for the Devil’s benefit. Yes, I am currently blasting my brain to jelly with Fractal Generator’s latest offering and it is a jolly splendid piece of experimental death metal with the odd tinge of black and industrial just for shits and giggles. Hailing from fuck knows where because their Facebook “About” section is in binary (subsequent investigation says they are from Sudbury, Ontario so they are based in Canada. Allegedly – This could be deliberate misinformation and they are really a bunch of extraterrestrial robot assassins) and this already has my antennae quivering. It is well known that I am a big fat sucker for showmanship and gimmickry and performance and Fractal Generator do not disappoint in this regard, being mere numbers with a visual aesthetic not unlike Watchmen’s Looking Glass character, being faceless and masked in mirrored fabric. All’s going well so far then. How’s the music?
Fuck me, this music is savage. FG appear to have harnessed the sheer violence of The Berzerker, toned down the sheer insanity of those worthy Australian nutters and formed some kind of mesmerising new hybrid of death metal and atmospherics. You have all the elements of classic DM – earthshaking guttural vocals, the kind of drumming that should not be physically possible by a human drummer and some spiky as fuck riffing, but added to this there are electronic passages, strange little guitar parts that add a quality of uneasiness (discordant notes and strange chords) to the music and quite frankly the most fucking demented piece of cello playing I have ever heard and will ever likely be played. Cello played at death metal speed? FUCK YEAH, BABY!
The opening offering on this possibly magnum opus is also the title track and begins (briefly) with the sound of Leviathan (if you’ve watched Hellbound: Hellraiser II you’ll know what I’m on about) before dispensing with the pleasantries and just launching itself teeth first at your throat and hanging the fuck on in there for the next 42 minutes, ripping and tearing at breakneck speed with mechanical servo noises whining as it struggles for purchase on your blood soaked body. This is not a record that is in any way subtle, even though there are some quite sublime moments on it. The ultraviolence of the opening song and title track is staggering, with keyboard and industrial noise overlaying the kind of classic death metal not heard since Deicide were still good. Add into that some interesting key changes and the vocal interplay between 040118180514 and 102119200914 (no, this is not some of the usual stream of consciousness bullshit that masquerades as my sense of humour. This is actually the given names of twin vocalists and bassist and guitarist respectively. The drummer is called 040114090512, fact fans. There will be a test later.) Nine songs in (‘Ethereal’) there is a step change from sheer battering speed and a more mid tempo grind comes into play, with an intro that is very reminiscent of Emperor in their later days, until the middle eight after the solo where the band have clearly downed a shit load more billy and decided to get on with it again and the speed builds to some utterly magnificent death metal riffing over single piano notes, which ends the album in an excellent fashion. My personal highlight though, is track two, entitled ‘Aeon’, which isn’t so much a song as a musical journey through all manners of extreme metal from proggy Emperor style riffing to pure unadulterated death metal, to some of the heaviest industrial I have heard to almost romantic black metal. To pull that off without it sounding like four songs in one is fucking staggering, technically speaking and as a really, REALLY shit guitarist it just makes me want to cry like a little baby because it is absolutely fucking insane and I would lop off testicles to have written and played it. And it is faster than a trip to the lavatory after eating California Reapers too. And possibly equally as painful. ‘Contagion’, four tracks in, is another fine song with echoes of “Chapel Of Ghouls” era Morbid Angel in the keyboards and a little proggy guitar riff just to get your attention.
Both vocalists also go straight for the jugular. Each appear to have a throat made out of gravel, pitch and barbed wire and both emit tarry, sepulchral grunts capable of removing faces at three hundred yards. There’s no fucking about from either of them and this is to their credit, because I have missed the absolute war and thunder of a proper death metal vocal. However, the one demerit I can find on this record is the production, which is best described as “rudimentary”. The bass is extremely difficult to hear, even while wearing cans, and the guitar is sometimes a bit choppy. The drums are ok though even though I could only really hear the crash cymbal properly and sometimes the more experimental sounds overwhelm the rest of the music. Funnily enough, though, I cannot say it is a bad thing because Fractal Generator and their music have made me develop this idea of them and their music in my mind, which is some kind of amorphous biomech hellbeast, rotating slowly through forms, sometimes organic, sometimes mechanical and sometimes both but always absolutely lethal and supremely dangerous. And this idea has come about because of the visceral nature of the production as well as the different musical styles welded together on this most mighty of records.
It’s safe to say I’m a bit of a fan. This is extreme metal as it should be played. Crushingly, stupendously heavy, ballcrushingly intense, staringly demented and savage and absolutely fucking unmissable. To see Fractal Generator and The Berzerker on the same bill would be sex wee central. Luckily for the Hounds of Smell and Mrs. Dark Juan and the good burghers of Elland, this time I have rigged up a sex wee extraction system and underground pipeline to large storage tanks off the coast of Kodiak, Alaska. I had a feeling that there might be floods. Yet another band have utterly fucked up my top ten of the year and now I’ll have to do it AGAIN. Thanks, numbers. You’re fucked if you
think I am typing those again in this review, boys. Assuming you are boys. There’s no way of telling with those masks. Anyway, well done, assumed gentlemen. Well done.
The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (Le système breveté d’évaluation des éclaboussures de sang Dark Juan pour les Canadiens Francaises. De rien) awards Fractal Generator a humungous 10/10 for a record that has excited it as very few records do. It would have been hundreds of millions out of ten but Esteemed Editor, Metal God, and Mighty Smiter Of Dickhead Record Reviewers Rick “Fists Of Steel” Tilley said I’m not allowed to do that anymore.
06. Shadows Of Infinity
040118180514 – Bass, vocals
102119200914 – Guitar, vocals
040114090512 – Drums
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