As so many others who missed it first time around, the recent re-release of debut EP Fractured has been a wake-up call to a band in FRCTRD who truly have exciting potential and already impressive attributes to their music. The release is a six track savaging of the senses and sparking of the imagination offering invasive deathcore with a technical and progressive bent. It is a mix which feels simultaneously familiar and new, its nature increasingly carnal and rewarding to quickly stand out from the crowd.
The Paris hailing quintet weave inspirations from the likes of Structures, Reflections, and Breakdown of Sanity into their own invention and instantly hooked attention within the French underground with debut single Burden. Its success and their aggressive prowess on their country’s live scene subsequently saw FRCTRD booked to play UK Tech-Fest, this within their first year of existence. Originally released last year, the rebooting of the Fractured EP through We Are Triumphant is already drawing ears and attention beyond their strong reputation on the French deathcore scene; no surprise once it’s raw and imposing virulence takes hold in a single listen alone.
The EP opens with instrumental Act. Zero, a piece which slowly rises from dark depths with apocalyptic hues to spin melodic suggestion and industrial espionage before the band fully uncages its arsenal of bone splitting beats, fearsomely nagging riffs, and crystalline beauty. It all colludes in a ravaging trespass full of instinctive threats and technical clues to what is to follow, realisation of its hints starting with the immediate involvement of Negative.
The second track instantly ensnares ears in a web of acidic sonic bait, its spicy textures soon evolving into a heavier predatory persistence as guitarists Filip Stanic and Clément Barea unite to infest and devour the senses. That weight of touch and intensity is further accentuated and driven by the carnivorous tones of Maxime Rodrigues’ bass and the violently swinging rhythm of drummer Manu DLB. It is a raw breath-taking assault given extra venomous bite by the varied cancerous tones of vocalist Vincent Hanulak, his words not always intelligible but their spite and emotion inescapable. Within all this, melodic enterprise blossoms and electronic captivation shimmers as technical imagination flourishes without ever defusing the force of the tempest or its primal intent.
The band’s latest single Crow is next, the song written after and inspired by the terrorist attacks at Bataclan, Paris in 2015. It makes a slightly kinder approach than its predecessor but still has the listener engulfed in a cyclone of invasive rhythms and sonic dexterity as riffs again burrow into the psyche while invasive grooves taunt. Its climate is a blend of warm encouragement and rousing defiance translated into the magnet melodies and synth seduction glowing within the compelling senses scavenging musical and physical brutality. The track is mercurial and eventful, a template working just as potently behind the imposing and rousing tapestry of Fortress and the virulent causticity of Breathless. The first of the two incites and stalks the senses, its tenacious and boisterous energy never kind but constantly invigorating while its slow lumbering moments are like staring in the eyes and jaws of a bestial invader. As in all songs, melodic beauty is just as ripe, suggestive, and skilfully brought to the corrosive surface. Its successor is possibly the most addictive and crippling thing of the EP, and one of the most irresistible moments with its violent sonic rapacity and technical rancor simply bewitching and scarring the senses.
Closing track Cloud is no lightweight in all aspects either, its malignant physical barbarity and bloodthirsty craft striking and its melodic oasis beguiling, the latter sublimely prowled by Rodrigues’ mutable bass before being woven into the inclement fabric of the track.
It is a powerful end to a truly stirring introduction to FRCTRD. As they develop and their sound evolves, and given the strength and potential of Fractures, it is easy to anticipate the band turning into something as unique in the deathcore scene as anything out there today. Only time will tell but the adventure will definitely be enjoyably challenging on the journey.
The Fractures EP is out now through We Are Triumphant across most online stores and @ http://frctrd.bigcartel.com/
Pete RingMaster 21/03/2017
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