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Rating:
8.0
Fractal Gates - Altered State Of Consciousness
2009


01. Visions 1
02. Altered State of Consciousness
03. Gates To Nebula
04. Inertia
05. Visions 2
06. Immersion
07. The Eclipse
08. Visions 3
09. Skies Of Orion
10. The Encounte
11. Visions 4
12. Illusional Dementia
13. Departure
14. Visions 5


When Stéphane Peudupin and Sébastien Pierre (both members of Inborn Suffering and Lethian Dreams) decide to create a new band, they rarely do any big mistakes. No needs to talk about their two other projects but let's focus on Fractal Gates their last creation today. Surprisingly this new combo is not Doom but more Death and Progressive. That's cool of course but it's great to see that our guys can do some other kind of Metal if they want, and here that's good Metal so…

Fractal Gates is a bit like the meeting of Paradise Lost with Dark Tranquillity. On a side the music of the band is melodic, with electronic and ambient parts like on the last Dark Tranquillity but this is also really dark and oppressing like on the first Paradise Lost. It's not so hard to find that the main influences of the compositors directly comes from Doom Death, Fractal Gates music is melodic Death ok but the melodies and ambiances are depressing and gloomy. The album doesn't really feature mega hits but all the songs are catchy with sumptuous riffs and melodies. You won't be disappointed by this release and I'm quite sure that you'll like all the songs. Sure maybe that it could be a bit more personal on a side but I quite like the fact that despite the main melodic Death orientation we can still find Doom spirit in "Altered State Of Consciousness".

Even if the sound can be a bit too loud sometime, the recording of the album is really good. Also the sumptuous digipack with an excellent cover art (directly linked to the main lyrics theme of the album) is a great way to show that the band is not a simple "other project". The lyrics are also well written and talk about science fictions and philosophical theme. It's not really common in the Metal scene (not new too of course…) but has its own charm and interests. "Altered State Of Consciousness" is a refreshing album played and composed by really inspired musicians; I really hope that some people will have an eye on it (and on them) because we're in front of real good Metal compositors.

"Altered State Of Consciousness" is a great beginning. Accessible without being stupid and commercial, this first release should attract all the metalheads who use to listen to deep melodic Death. The sad ambiance of the album does the difference even if the melodies are not so new actually… Don't miss this release, the whole CD (music like production) worth its money anyway. Great start, great band, I will keep an eye on Fractal Gates, their future is just full of hopes.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8


Band profile: Fractal Gates
Album: Altered State Of Consciousness


 


written by Jeff | 18.07.2009



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Damned-In-Black - 19.07.2009 at 04:21  
I tried this because it seemed it was going to be something 'different' and therefore potentially interesting, but I was wrong. It struck me as rather generic and boring. I'd give a 5/10.
Thanntos - 20.07.2009 at 00:27  
My favorite Genre is defiantly Melodeath so it was inevitable that I would run into this release. I have to say this is one of my favorites of the year so far. It's mix of a lot of great genres, ambient/melodeath/doom/progressive, should attract a lot of listeners.
Though it's obvious that this entire album is influenced by many other, it's pretty wrong to say, like the person above that it is 'generic'. Honestly, what isn't anymore? You won't find many new bands or even new albums of older bands now-a-day putting out incredibly groundbreaking and original material. All it is, is building upon whats been done, and either trying to improve, or at least be comparable.

A great example is last years debut 'Shrouded Divine' by In Mourning. It was not exactly original, since it sounded fairly similar to Opeth, and progressive melodeath was never a new phrase but they brought their own sense of style to the Metal scene, and that's why it was so popular. Comparisons can be and always have been a bitch. One thing about Fractal Gates is, they have had a lot of influences to look over and draw ideas from.
I think they took a good direction with their debut, and put out something really enjoyable. Hence, I agree with Jeff, and will be following them as well through their career.

9/10
Damned-In-Black - 20.07.2009 at 16:36  
I used the term generic simply because whilst they may draw on a myriad of influences and subgenres, it is all put together into... what? In my opinion, it's something very bland and no element strikes me as something special either on its own or as part of the whole. To me it's merely a competent release, no matter how many influences they have drawn from. Only my opinion
EquilibriuMTR - 20.07.2009 at 20:47  
I personally think that Fractal Gates is a fine blend of Doom and Progressive Death. They are surely less known compared to many other bands and I should say that they are underrated. I am not a big fan of Doom but I really like when Prog and Death are mixed with other genres (especially Ambient and Folk, which Fractal Gates' music carries a little bit of Ambient) but I would give Altered State of Consciousness 8/10 or maybe 9/10; not because of originality but because of their captivating sound.
EquilibriuMTR - 20.07.2009 at 20:49  
Oh and by the way, check out Voyager and especially Vintersorg if you like this kind of Science Fiction/Philosophy themed music and lyrics.
Galar - 25.07.2009 at 22:35  
Realllllllllllllllllllllllllllllly good album love it id give it a 9
Ag Fox - 03.08.2009 at 18:16  
I agree that it's one of the better Melodeath releases of the year, the other one being Be'lakor's "Stone's Reach"
tea[m]ster - 29.10.2009 at 19:41  
I really like this album - the production is fantastic!
Wishmaster - 03.09.2010 at 00:04  
Very good!

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