Fractal Generator – Convergence

Fractal Generator – Convergence
Everlasting Spew Records
Release Date: 07/06/24
Running Time: 38:36
Review by Dark Juan
Score: 9/10

Dark Juan yearns for his younger days, when he was a high priest in the Satanic Orders and his life was debauchery personified, he had his pick of beautiful young people, and his stature was almost godlike. Fuelled by a hatred of the False Gods of the major religions and a steadfast desire to spread the word of The One Who Walks Backwards mainly by seducing and screwing the lambs of God on the altar beneath the eyes of his useless son (giving way to a whole new kind of nailing for Jesus) in any church I had come across to defile. Fine wines and laudanum were my fuels as the light of my Faith blazed out of my eyes and Christians cowered before my wrath. I heard the confessions of the whores of the Lord, as they bent their knee to me and took my Communion… My flesh for bread and my blood for wine. I scarred them all with the mark of The Dread Lord, scorching their alabaster foreheads and using my “special” blade to carve the name of Satan in their perfect, white flesh at the points of their helpless, gasping orgasms…

I really should revisit my Ministry, although my congregation will have to be built from scratch once more, because I got distracted from my task of turning the world to the Darkness… I believe in a thing called love, and Black Shuck, let me inform you that that hound don’t give a fuck…

It has been three years since I last had the pleasure of listening to new music from Canadian (allegedly) band Fractal Generator. You see, the problem is that this band has no faces. Their visages are just dully reflecting, partly polished metal and they don’t have names. They have designations.

Now, I don’t know why any possible alien overlords might have decided to send three anthropomorphic representations of humans and give them the ability to play musical instruments when they could conceivably have just created a whole fucking metal army of acid and high-explosive spitting death machines and battlewagons and conducted a very very literal scorched earth campaign, in which they would have been victorious in short order. There is no logic in sending three faceless automatons to play super technical, sf-based Blackened Death Metal and put their base of operations in Canada, of all places. People have probably been exquisitely polite to the three obviously foreign gentlemen who have arrived in Sudbury, Ontario.

Nevertheless, Dark Juan has survived their peculiar and somewhat experimental attacks before, and was able to report on his experiences to the secret intelligence committee that is the Ever-Metal.com readership, this being the link for it:

It is quite clear from what has been previously written by your good gorrespondent (sic) that Dark Juan quite liked it. Now, four years later, they have returned for a new offensive against your stalwart defender of the earth and Dark Juan stands ready to repulse their three-person invasion. Weapons are charged and ready. The Platter of Splatter ™ is at full power with extra military power at the disposal of the operator. Let the assault begin!

The Platter of Splatter ™ is oscillating. Fractal Generator’s latest offering, “Convergence” is upon it and Mrs Dark Juan has dodged a potentially devastating health scare. This is excellent news, although disappointing to the hordes of ladies who obviously are out there…

Album opener ‘Cryogenian’ really doesn’t fuck about, a short intro giving way to hyperspatial gateway velocity Death Metal that owes more than a nod to “Altars Of Madness” era Morbid Angel, but with science fiction content (“Convergence” tells the tale of a fuckton of new planets appearing in the solar system due to “A glitch in the universal simulation”) rather than elaborate paeans to Satan and trying to rhyme “Asphodel” with stuff. It’s pretty damned good, too. The intricacy of the playing of 040118180514 on bass and 102119200914 on guitar is fucking intoxicating – not least on the title track where the bass operates almost as a second guitar at several points during the song.  Although there is a story behind the music and “Convergence” is a concept album of sorts, it makes no difference as the vocals are utterly incomprehensible and sound more like people shitting razor blades, all inchoate roaring and little syllabification. However, this is Death Metal, and that sort of thing doesn’t really matter. All I know is that Dark Juan has some kind of cosmic affinity with Fractal Generator and digs everything they fucking do. 

Compared to “Macrocosmos”, Fractal Generator have amped up the meatiness of their sound and this album, although just as technical, sounds more visceral and organic than the out and out techfest that was the previous record – it conjures up images of living starships, pilots hardwired to the central brain and feeling pain when the hull sustains damage. Pilot and ship are symbionts with an artificial linkage, biomechanism in action, weapons firing at the speed of thought, the pilot, blinded for a better symbiosis with his ship, seeing through sensors engineered from alien eyes through the visual spectrum to the infra-red and beyond, picking out routes through detritus and space debris on a geodesic trajectory where mere hours pass for ship and pilot but years pass on Earth, loved ones having visibly aged because of time dilation at speeds approaching light…

‘Ancient Civilisations’ once more brings Morbid Angel comparisons, the keyboards ebbing and flowing throughout the song evincing ‘Chapel Of Ghouls’ in Dark Juan’s cruelly sleep-deprived brain whereas ‘Obelisk’ touches on the super-technical Death Metal of Necrophagist with added touches of Jazz-Metal mentalists The Locust. These are Very Good Things indeed.

As I said earlier, the production on this album is a much more organic beast than previously experienced. It is a thick and uncompromising sound with a bottom end meatier than a supersized cargo ship full of cattle and your mothers. It adds a previously unheard, humanistic quality to the music, like the band are trying to blend into humanity in order to subvert from within.

‘Ciphertext’ is where the record gets really interesting, though. A bewildering combination of warp-speed Death Metal, the kind of roaring you only normally hear from at least the fourth circle of hell and particularly waspish and unsettling female operatic singing combine with scintillating, disturbing keyboards, splintered, fractured soloing and a bassline so complicated that Dark Juan is convinced that 040118180514 has grown extra appendages just to cope with it, it makes for a song that isn’t listened to, it is experienced…

In short then, it’s another triumph from the (allegedly) Canadian alien invaders. If you are a fan of sf and early Decapitated and Zyklon, you’ll fucking dig this album. My only gripe is that the fast passages of the songs all seem to be played at a similar BPM rate, but there’s enough light and shade and tempo changes to keep everything interesting and the album does move along at an egregious fucking rate of knots.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (Le système breveté d’évaluation des éclaboussures de sang Dark Juan, pour mon merveilleux lectorat canadien-français. Il doit y avoir au moins un d’entre vous! Êtes-vous conscient que votre pays abrite des envahisseurs extraterrestres déterminés à conquérir la Terre, basés en Ontario?) awards Fractal Generator 9/10 for a flawed jewel of an album, brimming with exciting ideas and a novel concept that only needs to be improved by the fast parts being of differing speeds occasionally.

TRACKLISTING:

Cryogenian
Convergence
Askesis
Ancient Civilisations
Obelisk
Ciphertext
Xiphoid
Algorithmic Pathways

Encephalon
LINE-UP:

040118180514 – Bass, Vocals
040114090512 – Drums
102119200914 – Guitar, Vocals

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dark Juan and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.