Rating:
7.0
Fracture Point - Inherit The Downfall
14 June 2008


01. IED
02. Fearpath
03. Image
04. Mind Ruin
05. Face of Pain
06. Last Minute
07. Inherit the Downfall
08. Failure State
09. Syntropy
10. Manic Aggression
11. Witness in the Shroud
12. J69


Some decade and a half ago I caught an amazing show at the Mesa Amphitheater in the Phoenix, Arizona metro area... Machine Head, Biohazard (with a guest appearance by Max from Sepultura), and the headliners, Slayer, who commemorated the nights festivities by using that show as their Live Intrusion release. Machine Head were fairly new at that time, but won my friends and I over... well, until they torched any further interest in either the band and that particular style with The Burning Red.

So what does that gig have to do with this review?

Hailing from that same Phoenix area we have Fracture Point, and after several listens to Inherit The Downfall, I have come to the conclusion that to best illustrate their sound and approach to you, reader who has stuck with this rather long intro, is that it is similar in aesthetic to the very Burn My Eyes release that Machine Head were supporting that fateful day.

Now that we've established the basics, on to some specifics.

The overall approach reminiscent of old Machine Head in the sense that slowing it down yields more power. One issue is the choice in pacing coupled with an album that approaches an hour it total length just makes it feel that much longer. Some times more is better, some times less (i.e. a shorter album) is better... I think this would have been better served trimming some fat and cutting it down to the 40-45 minute mark.

There are some really good riffs within, like the run at around the 90s mark of "Mindruin" - but too much mid-pace/slow pace strung together makes this album cry out for a few barn burners to kick the energy up a notch or two. The fifth track of the release, "Face Of Pain" has moments where it provides a little jolt, but these just seem long in coming. There is some nice lead playing ("Image") lack of second guitar to back it made for a weird juxtaposition of a mid-paced bass/drum tandem playing with space against some shredding leads... it's amusing but I found myself more drawn to the cool supporting cast during the solo.

The drums, while perhaps a bit lower in the mix than the guitar and vocals, are probably the dominant force in the release with lots pounding even when playing along primarily mid-paced tunes. They almost seem double-time when compared against the riffs they are joined with, which fits the overall groove and gives the songs a little energetic shot in the arm to help combat mid-paced riff malaise.

And stop the presses, but due to a lot of the single-note riffing lines and lack of a second six string, the bass (at times) is particularly audible. In a metal release! What a novel concept. The bass makes for some great support groove, particularly during a couple solos or lighter moments, as in roughly the mid-point of "Failure State".

The vocalist, Ben Rosputni, sounds a little bit like Rob Flynn at times, and a lot like a deeper throated Oderus Urungus (GWAR) at others... and this is a good thing. (note: take away the latex costume and Oderus ain't a bad front man. This comparison is a compliment.) His harsh style and occasional shift to a raptor-like screech to punctuate a point fit the music well.

Overall, it's some well executed groove in the vein of Machine Head's Burn My Eyes - not nearly as compelling, but hey, that album is a daunting release for anyone in this sonic arena to be compared against. The guys do play their individual instruments well and work well within the overall context. If I perhaps seem a bit critical, take it with a grain of salt, as it's a style I have not listened to for a long while and the only comparison point I have is an album I hold in high esteem.

So if you find yourself craving more of that groove-thrash that helped sustain metal in the semi-public eye after the implosion of the thrash and death movements and during the rise of more commercially-viable Nu bands, be sure to check out Fracture Point... They might very well be what you are looking for.

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


Website: http://www.fracturepointmetal.com


 



Written on 27.04.2010 by
BitterCOld
BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.
More reviews by BitterCOld ››



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Visioneerie - 28.04.2010 at 00:38  
Maybe I should just do myself the favor and opt for Burn My Eyes as your review sort of implies. Machine Head do blow monuments down live though, I remember that gig a good 2 years ago. I've only heard MH's two more recent releases and like them quite a bit.
BitterCOld - 28.04.2010 at 00:45  
In all honesty, I liked Fracture Point, but given the choice of one or the other, I would get Burn My Eyes first. hand's down. If you like it, FP might very well be worth checking out.

Of course, this is not a "ONE OR THE OTHER, CHOOSE OR DIE!" situation. you can still check them out now courtesy of their website.

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