Fractured brought a new depth to their music
Tales of the legendary island of Atlantis, said to have sunk beneath the waves "in a single day and night of misfortune", have been told for more than 2,400 years. No matter that it never existed, the fabled continent has been the subject of thousands of books over the centuries, a testament to the enduring power of the Atlantis myth.
Still, it is perhaps an unexpected theme to be taken up by a Canadian electro-industrial project. On the other hand, "Canadian electro" has always stood for complex and profound sounds identified with acts like Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly, Numb, and Decoded Feedback, so it's a small step to move from complex sounds to complex themes.
This thematic challenge is taken up by Fractured on the second full-length, "Beneath The Ashes". Anyone expecting sterile or overly convoluted sounds is on the wrong track, as this time around Fractured have incorporated a range of organic elements such as acoustic guitars and orchestral arrangements to bring a new depth to their music. At times reminiscent of a soundtrack, this is a dense and compact album that never stays too long in one place, maintaining an air of tension throughout. In other words, never a dull moment: club-ready electro tracks alternate with gentle ballads, always keeping the listener on her toes.
With their 2006 debut "Only Human Remains", Fractured established themselves as a remarkable and innovative force in hard electronic music. Immensely popular with fans, the album was showered with accolades from the press like "Album of the Month" and "Newcomer of the Month". Now, after five long years, comes the follow-up, an album of even more sophisticated arrangements and opulent orchestrations. Fracture move effortlessly between massive, soundtrack-like compositions and rousing tracks with unexpected and often very catchy melodies.
The artwork in the 12-page booklet for "Beneath The Ashes", inspired in places by the trance-readings of the "sleeping prophet" Edgar Cayce (1877-1945), comes courtesy of Dennis Sibeijn, well-known for his work with bands like Slipknot, HIM, Slayer, Disturbed, and many more.
A brilliant combination of sound and visuals, this is an album which couldn't be further removed from electro-mediocrity.