Fast Rites: because sometimes brevity is fundamental.
No matter how comical the idea seems to anyone not already accustomed to parsing half-step pitch variations in toilet-puke vocals like a sommelier mouthfeeling the ever-living shit out of some tannins and terroir, death metal is a Big Tent. Brutal, technical, progressive, caveman, thrashy, blackened, punky… death metal is and ought to be all this and more.
Canada’s Fractal Generator have a finely honed identity on their second album Macrocosmos, and while their style doesn’t aim to kick every last tentpost, it fuses effectively two things that bands sometimes struggle to strike the right balance with: mechanistic precision and head-caving heaviness.
Macrocosmos is technical and unrelenting, but it never feels either needlessly showy or coldly clinical. The most notable influence is Morbid Angel, but the understated sci-fi vibes (telegraphed by minimal synths and the occasional burst of static or bleep-bloop) nod to Nocturnus, and there’s more than a little Polish flavor in the hyper-aggressive yet ruthlessly tight riffs (cf. Decapitated or Lost Soul).
Importantly, though, no matter how relentless the album is (and these 42 minutes can feel like being pinned to the wall by the centrifugal force of a Rrröööaaarrr-shaped cyclone), Fractal Generator sprinkles the mix with thoughtful elements of both melody and groove. And because the production on the guitar tone sometimes comes across a bit like Gojira, the occasional slow, churning section hits like a 30-ton vacuum cleaner on overdrive.
Some death metal aims to hit you hard without leaving a mark. Other death metal aims to distract with fancy footwork. Fractal Generator manages the feat of socking you in the jaw just enough that you don’t notice the clean hiss of the scalpel and the high hum of an alien laparoscope already halfway through turning your unattended kidneys to slurry. Friends, that’s a very good thing.