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Fractal Gates - Beyond The Self
18 February 2013

01. Visions VII
02. Dissonance
03. Everblaze
04. On Your Own
05. The Sign
06. Visions VIII
07. Timeless
08. We Are All Leaders
09. Reverse Dawn
10. Mighty Wings [feat. Dan Swanö]
11. The Experiment
12. Beyond The Self
13. Glooms Of Cyan
14. Visions IX

The French melodic death band Fractal Gates establish a coherent album with a touch of dynamism in Beyond The Self. While it bears a strong consistency to their core sound which is at the meatier end of the subgenre's spectrum it displays the earnest ability to add considerable variation to the compositions.

They have high strung gothenburg melodies emboldened by dense bass partnered with efficient drums and death growls. Many tracks are well tempered to a hammered rhythm which stays the course of the album. Plenty of those emotion triggering leads strike out at you from its solid base such as tracks "On Your Own" or "Reverse Dawn" as well as those packing more of an Amon Amarth bass punch like "Dissonance", "We Are All Leaders" and "Mighty Wings."

Working some diversity into the instrumentation significantly aids the songwriting; "Timeless" has its excellent use of gothic tinged warps of lead guitar which might bring Paradise Lost to mind, of all bands to reference. And the melodies of that track also bear a progressive taste not unlike the work of Alchemist.

While the rest of the album is more or less in a more composite style, the use of clean vocals, provided here by none other than Dan Swano who also mixed and mastered the record, add just that much more variance. Tempo gets its fair share of changes throughout the record as well, a notable example being "Gloom Of Cyan", a highlight which has sections more of the melodic death/doom variety with its longer moody pace and melody.

I can't say I understand the purpose of the three short tracks entitled "Visions", here numbered VII, VIII and IX. VIII is placed near the centre of the album and seems only to interrupt the flow of things. Perhaps such is for the best though as the album can be quite a lot to chew on in a single listen.

Beyond The Self isn't the kind of album that will shift the earth beneath your feet in terms of its dynamics but it is prone to the uplifting and occasionally varied harmony of riff and melody.

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

Band profile: Fractal Gates
Album: Beyond The Self


Written on 15.03.2013 by
R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.
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Ap46 - 15.03.2013 at 16:47  
I was looking foward to this album with not so much expectations, til' i found that Dan Swano was providing some vocals to it. I liked the album a lot, my expectations were pretty low, i guess. My favourites: Ever Blaze, Mighty Wings and Reverse Dawn.
AnderWaves - 15.03.2013 at 17:30  
When you hear Dan Swano,
you know that is going to be awesome!
Ag Fox - 15.03.2013 at 19:28  
I obviously enjoyed it more than you do. But I do think their previous effort was better
Ikuinen - 15.03.2013 at 23:22  
get an 8 in every thing and still ends up with a 7.7
R'Vannith - 16.03.2013 at 05:52  
Written by Ikuinen on 15.03.2013 at 23:22

get an 8 in every thing and still ends up with a 7.7

They'd all score somewhere between 7.5-8, so I just round them up.
The Moor - 17.03.2013 at 14:11  
Good album and an awaited comeback for this band. Timeless is a nice presentation like a single, maybe i miss songs like "The Eclipse" but instead of that it's another good album.
tea[m]ster - 17.03.2013 at 19:43  
Glad this got reviewed. Terrific follow-up to Altered States...These guys are my favorite melodeth band ATM. I give this a 9, maybe more by the end of the year
The Evergreen - 23.03.2013 at 17:42  
I've somehow missed these guys until I read this. I like it a lot. There's always room for more melodic death and this has a pretty interesting take on the idea.

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