Earlier this March, FRACTURED’s official site released a couple of B-side tracks prior to the release of “Beneath the Ashes”, their sophomore studio album. The B-side tracks, which FRACTURED’s Nick Gorman called “a bit incomplete”, are ever since unavailable on the site: a re-release, after the thick of enthusiasm caused by the new album release wears off, is scheduled for late 2011.
The B-side tracks, a coveted memorabilia for FRACTURED fans already hailed a great album preview: ‘Beneath the Ashes” is indeed a masterpiece, and VIVA MUSIC is happy to shortlist it for an album of the year nomination on our site darkwave.ro. “Beneath the Ashes” comprises 12 tracks and was dually released by Metropolis in the Americas and Dependent for Europe on March-25.
“Beneath the Ashes” strikes from the very beginning as a very industrial name for an album. Even more sordidly so in the aftermath of Tohoku nuclear spring of 2011, the album surfaces as a thick stifling crust over great melodies and instrument. It is not easy to qualify the album – another reason to like it, since it is industrial in core and electronic in creed, but the marvelous Canadian duo at command releases great energy and spirituality throughout the album.
It has been six long years since their latest album. “Only Human Remains” is a eulogy on a sad note about what humanity boils down to and about how despair and convictions actually struggle at the inner core of the individual. What could have been a great ecological and humanitarian enterprise is not at all rendered meek and mundane, because the cosmology of the album brusquely requests from the listener to brace up and take the plunge down inherent and coherent depths of the human soul. It goes the same for “Beneath the Ashes”: FRACTURED’s endeavor to drill pivotal harmonies through layers and layers of chaos strikes as an original musical attempt, and also a successful one.
The homonymous track that opens the album, “Beneath the Ashes” is a masterpiece that grows exponentially from the first keys to the last. A wonderful journey through different accents and hues, “Beneath the Ashes” gives impetus and sets a mood that is difficult to forget. “For What”, the tempestuous track that ensues, gives extra clarity to the album suite and as long as the song lasts, pungent and strong electronica superposed on an industrial vein charms the listener.
“You Are (the Voice Inside My Head)” is a very original composition, one that elevates and pacifies. So is “Anesthetic” (featuring M@ from ENCEPHALON) – it takes a fine ear and a heart set on quality electronica to enjoy the inner peace these tracks are about. “Transcendental Rage for the Fundamentals” is a heated monologue, and although it dwells on the same emotional landscape that gave the world numerous instances of engaged music, it succeeds in staying disengaged and aloof from ideologies and trends.
“Dig” is a very picturesque composition that flows naturally with the ensuing track, “Save Me”, unrivaled examples of FRACTURED art. “Straight Jacket Fashion” starts off from the title pun, that fuses ‘normalcy’ (or at least the quest thereof) and ‘fashion’, so to indicate that standards are not exempt from trends and that standing alone as a strong conscience is in itself an enriching experience.
After an instrumental “Interlude” of superior clarity, “Fly Away” delivers a wonderful retort to earlier tracks, with great musical impact and a very well-contoured universe. “We Bare These Scars” further continues the imagery of the album and seals up the healing process FRACTURED music is supposed to, and truly does convey. It is then up to the last track, not at all randomly entitled “Disengage” to cool off the FRACTURED engines and trace back to the feeling exposed earlier in “Transcendental Rage for the Fundamentals”.
Back at square one, “Beneath the Ashes” is a very credible album, and what is more, a very innovative one. It covers great lengths of genre and musical intent, and makes the hiatus spanning from their latest 2006 album not only worthwhile, but also plausible. A creative effort such as the one put in by Nick Gorman and Arc truly takes time, in order to give it lasting wings on today’s musical scene.
Tracklist:“Beneath the Ashes” “For What” “You Are (the Voice Inside My Head)” “Anesthestic” “Transcendental Rage for the Fundamentals” “Dig”
“Save Me” “Straight Jacket Fashion” “Interlude” “Fly Away” “We Bare These Scars” “Disengage”