Math, prog, technical, whatever you want to call it, this type of metal takes serious dedication to play and get right, it’s not for just everyone either, well with the exception of one or two bands maybe. Fractal Universe are one such collection of guys to take on the challenging style, and Engram of Decline is their first full length LP.
On the first few playthroughs, it is tough to get into but not without its shining moments. The blending styles and intricacy. Individually, each instrument is played with a great talent and sounds sporadic with great elements of an almost improvised jazz-like approach, together though, they fit well, very well. The progressive waves crash one after another without taking anything away from the extremely heavy feel of the album.
Premiss to Reality cracks off the album and can go either way, you can find yourself interested and ready for the rest of the album, or sadly it can be enough to put you off. After finding myself the right door into Engram of Decline, I did find the beauty in it. Sons of Ignorance carrying on and quickly became one of the highlights for myself, it did leave the rest of the album a little less memorable after though. Venomous Coils of a Holy fallacy opens up the styling further with a slight Spanish flamenco touch, before flowing into another great track Backworldsman bringing in some jazz saxophone courtesy of guest Jorgen Munkeby from Shining.
By the time the album closes, you can find yourself a bit perplexed by what you’ve heard, if you make it that far that is. Engram of Decline will have many on a knife edge as to if they like it or not, it can cut that finely, time will tell of its longevity, but for those that can get into it, the musicianship is above and beyond any expectation for a debut album.
"For fans of Ihsahn, Cynic, Exivious, Opeth, Fractal Universe are interesting, heavy, groovy music at its best. A width and breadth of influences that leave competitors gasping in the dust, Engram of Decline is a heady rush. Based on Nietzsche’s ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’, Engram of Decline is a concept album, telling the history of human thought, from the birth of consciousness to the elaboration of complex social systems".