I confess, I was drawn to this album by the cover artwork, which is the reason I decided to listen to it. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but in today’s digital age it’s worth noting that album artwork is still important, at least in my eyes.
So what of the music? Well, Fractal Cypher play modern progressive metal with ample keyboard enhancements and a touch of djent and death metal here and there. If you’ve ever wanted a hearty progressive mix of old and new, then look no further.
Imagine Dream Theatre and Pagan’s Mind thrown into a melting pot and then given a modern makeover. Do you like the sound of that? I do, which is why I like Fractal Cypher.
Actually, ‘like’ may be too mild a word.
The songs on The Human Paradox are bold and bigger than life, leaping out of the speakers with confidence and surety. The band know what they’re doing and know how to pull off the ambitious material with apparent ease.
They can really, really play too, which is to be expected for a release like this. Time signature changes and fretboard wizardry are the norm for this kind of thing of course, and Fractal Cypher don’t disappoint. What’s less normal, (sadly), for this type of music is the quality of the songs and the singer. Pleasingly, (considering I primarily took to this initially due to the cover alone), Fractal Cypher have got no issues in either department. The songs are very-well written and have more depth and longevity than you might expect. As for the singer, his main clean vocals are performed with passion and talent, while his occasional death metal roars are savage and powerful. Result.
I love discovering a band like this. It makes me excited. The Human Paradox has the ostentation and songwriting of good power metal, the exploratory nature of quality progressive music, the aggression and technicality of modern extravaganzas and the atmospheric impact of an album waiting to be discovered anew with every listen. It’s true.
Okay, so excuse the mild hyperbole there, but I’ve just really enjoyed this album. It’s 65 minutes long but doesn’t feel it. The melting pot of styles and influences helps the music just fly by, and the quality of the songs draws you in, daring you to ignore it. But you can’t. Oh no.
If you’re into heavy/progressive/modern/power/technical metal, I implore you to give this a listen, whether you love the album cover or not.
An essential listen.