Frater – Into The Light

Argentinean band Frater has everything in place to be huge. Outstanding songwriting, superb musicianship, an imaginative invention, and a destructive power  to leave one  roasting in their own juices are all coursing through their music. All they are missing is worldly recognition something with luck and continued determination must be on the cards going by their debut album Into The Light. The release is immense, a certain album of the year candidate and the cause of the unshakable belief that the band will soon explode into that full blown acclaim and giant status.

The introductory email from the band just said Hi and a few words ending in “We hope you enjoy the music”. There was no shouting about or hinting of what was to explode out of the speakers, so expectations were good but not imagining the pure excellence to come. Into The Light consists of twelve tracks which without fail all leave one gasping for breath, their bodies perpetually evolving and as diverse as the sun is hot and all staggeringly colossal. Frater reaps the deepest essential essences from multiple genres to create monumental slabs of brutality which expertly fire up the senses. They combine equal densities of extreme and melodic metal whilst twisting in irresistible metallic veins of groove, technical, progressive, and  metalcore. It is astounding and easily one of the freshest and most vibrant albums to hit in a long while.

The Buenos Aires band formed in early 2008 with in the words of their bio ‘the aim to fuse different musical styles with powerful riffs without neglecting melody, introspective lyrics and progressive rhythm constructions,’ Into The Light shows they have achieved that and more. The year after formation the quartet of vocalist Pablo Urcullú, guitarist and vocalist Andrés Bori, bassist Andres Zadunaisky, and drummer Federico Mele released the five track Shapeless EP to strong responses in their homeland. The release and their renowned live performances ignited a powerful following and strong acclaim within Argentina. Now it is the turn of the world as their album begins its assault and it is hard to see them failing.

The pulsating start of opener Eleven captures the imagination instantly and when the rampaging intense riffs and electrifying swarm of melodic sound erupts, nothing stands in the way of immediate jaw dropping attention. The track is a blistering contagion, an incessant onslaught which leaves knees buckled and ears sore through its overwhelming intensity and might. The song then sweeps into unpredictable avenues with some of the most infectious melodic and imaginative interplay heard in a long time. The vocals of Urcullú alone turn from the most spiteful and bile spewing caustic growls to some of the finest clean and controlled singing found in metal today. He is impressive in the extreme and a brilliant foil and companion to the crushing and caressing sounds the band conjure together. The track is five minutes plus of brilliance and the band already declaring themselves as something special.

The fluid exchange between the opener and Heir Of Thorns is astounding  and a feature of the album as a whole, the release a consuming brute made up of a brotherhood of songs. The second track corrupts with sawing riffs which gnaw at the senses with rabid hunger whilst the guitar of Bori stretches and manipulates the song and its recipient with unbridled flair and imagination. The track again finds the perfect mix of violence from the aggressive riffs, bass stalking and crippling rhythms with the peaceful enterprise of guitar ingenuity and emotive vocal, delivering it all with an even more skilled invention.

The likes of Venomous, a song as nasty and infectious as its title suggests, the ravenous and compulsive Eternal Return, and Beneath My Eyes which turns inside out with precise skill to bludgeon and light up the heart with aural beauty in its extremes, continue to leave one in rapture. The third of the three is an insatiable onslaught offering outstanding melodic elegance within flesh striping intensity and further proof that Frater leaves nothing in the locker in skill, intensity, and imagination.

From beginning to end Into The Light is nonstop musical supremacy at its most powerful, songs like Truth In Lie, Statement, and the closing title track though you can mention any song on the album, showing a band able to bring quality and wide diversity without losing their way and at a height many never reach. If the likes of Sepultura, Lamb Of God, All That Remains, Opeth, Periphery, In Flames…well you get the idea, light your fires Frater will stoke them up even higher. They and their sound is eclectic, perfectly controlled, and simply stunning, enough said!

RingMaster 08/08/2012

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