Sep 2011 08

Fractured - Beneath the Ashes
Category: EBM / Electro
Album: Beneath the Ashes
Stars: 4.5
Blurb: Canadian artist Nick Gorman combines various elements of aggression and harsh melody into a very listenable genre-bending collection of angry electronic tunes.


Power. Aggression. Noise. Melody. All of this and more is the synopsis of Nick Gorman’s angry electro monster Fractured. It’s been eight long years since Gorman dropped his first self-released disc, Contami-Nation, a disc that subsequently spawned the Dependent Records release Only Human Remains in 2005. Now it is 2011, and the maturity that Gorman has shown in not only his songwriting but also his ability to see past the confines of the harsh electro scene. By incorporating EBM, rhythmic noise, heavy metal, classical symphonic compositions, dubstep, experimental, and spoken word, Fractured’s Beneath the Ashes comes across as one behemoth of a disc.

While many of the tracks embrace the core foundations of harsh electro such as razor sharp processed vocals, brutal dance floor rhythms, aggressive synth lines, angry lyrics, dystopian themes, and testosterone-laced melodies, they also embrace other elements that help Fractured stand apart from the fray. The album opens with the title track, which doesn’t easily distinguish that this album will be any different than what dozens of their peers are offering today. But this track merely sets the stage for the song “For What,” a song that offers well calculated glitch along with dueling styles of vocals, one harsh and one clean, with the clean version offering the most memorable aspects to the song. “You Are” slightly lightens the mood by edging towards a more synth-driven feel, backing down from the aggression of the previous tracks, but instead brings in a wall of guitar sound in the background of the chorus, which immediately grants the band separation in the harsh electro musical genre.

Beyond the opening tracks is where Fractured really begins to show where they have gone. There is growth and diversity within these tracks, and they are fun, catchy, and aggressive. The range of vocals, whether they are layered or become stylistically different from each other, makes the album seem like there are far more than one single vocalist contributing to the tracks. “Anesthetic” is one song that provides a perfect example to this feat. “Transcendental Rage for the Fundamentals” is an odd track with its piano and stringed instruments pining away over a militant beat while a spoken word mantra is versed over its apocalyptic symphony. It is immediately followed by the sneering EBM-ish “Dig,” and then all hell breaks loose with the dubstep-meets-metal track “Save Me,” a song that is slightly out of place on the disc, but no less good than the tracks that surround it. “Straight Jacket Fashion” retains a little bit of the dubstep feel left over from the previous track, but it is an angry track settled down by a melodic piano solo that is then demolished by the harsh metallic feel of the dark punctuated power noise bursts during the chorus.

The album is rounded out by a beautiful piece in the track “Fly Away,” a punishing thrash and speed metal song that is “We Bare These Scars,” and the bouncy album closer “Disengage.” All things considered, this album could have been a disaster with the incorporations of all of the styles of music that were meshed within the songs, but because Gorman is a skilled craftsman within his trade, the album as a whole winds up working out very well. If it sickens you how today’s EBM and harsh electro refuses to grow or even think for one second outside of the box, than this is definitely the album you want to check out!

Track list:

  1. Beneath the Ashes
  2. For What
  3. You Are
  4. Anesthetic
  5. Transcendental Rage for the Fundamentals
  6. Dig
  7. Save Me
  8. Straight Jacket Fashion
  9. Interlude
  10. Fly Away
  11. We Bare These Scars
  12. Disengage

Fractured Website
Fractured MySpace
Fractured Facebook
Metropolis Records Website
Metropolis Records MySpace

Purchase at…
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3


Joseph Graham (ChromeSkinJesus)

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