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Mediocre - 20%

JTR4, April 25th, 2012

Melodic death metal is a difficult genre to break new ground in. It's a genre that has led to the creation of many bands, many of which have been mediocre at best. With their first full-length album, Fractal Gates have made a solid effort to make their mark in the genre. Unfortunately, the album is not all that great. Don't get me wrong, there are some fantastic moments on here, just not enough to make a truly solid album. For the most part, the album sinks into mediocrity.

I'll start with the good.

One of the first things I noticed about this band was the vocalist, Sebastien Pierre. His vocals may not be unique to the genre, but he gets the job done better than some vocalists I've heard.

The guitars on this album are probably the most positive thing I can talk about. The one track on here that I would consider outstanding, (Track 7), has an absolutely fantastic guitar intro which is also used during the chorus of the song. The combination of the guitar, deep vocals, and excellent drumming make the chorus for track 7 incredibly addictive, and the song remains one of my personal favorite melodic death metal songs. The problem is that one outstanding track and several, fairly good tracks are not enough to save an entire album.

Now for the bad.

All I can really say as far as the negative is that out of all the melodic death metal albums out there, this one doesn't stand out quite as much as some. Once I heard Track 7, I became very hopeful that this would turn out to be an amazing melodic death metal experience, but I was a bit disappointed to say the least. Another problem I had with the album was some of the song lengths. Several tracks started out well enough, but became rather uninteresting after a few minutes.

Overall, I'm glad I found this album. I have great respect for the band and they do have a jewel song on this album. The album, at times, can have a tone which almost sounds like you're traveling through the cosmos of space. It's difficult to explain, but listen to track 7 and you'll see what I mean. The one thing I am keeping in mind is that this is the first full-length album by the band, and if they come out with more material in the future, I'm sure that their ideas will be more matured. This album shows that the band has some good ideas, I just hope that they find what works best in their sound and really tap into it.

Best Track: The Eclipse