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Fracture - Dominate and Overload

Matti Frost   (179 reviews)

Posted: 08/17/2010 | Comments: 0 | Rate:

Norway has many interesting bands covering all different styles of music. Unfortunately, this is not one of those bands. I would best describe this as modern mainstream-ish metal, maybe slightly heavier, with some slight prog and power metal influences. The music has some pretty intense parts, but it never really kicks it into that high gear. The opening track, Sulphur Preacher, is a perfect example. Just as it sounds like it's going to rip your face off, it goes all flat and tame.

The vocals are performed adequately, but very safely. No screaming or growling, which is fine, but outside of a few passages, Pal Strand does not really push any boundaries here. Instead he stays well entrenched in the staples of metal vocals- very clean, some occasional wails, maybe one or two parts where he channels Rob Halford. This makes the vocals sound very dated and it kind of bums out the whole album. That and I feel there's too many vocals running through the songs. Maybe Strand should fade back in the future and let the songs breathe a little more.

The drummer, Per Morten Bergseth, works his ass off, and his performance is the highlight of Dominate for me. He seems to be carrying the whole album on his kit. The bass pretty much follows the guitars and is thus almost inaudible, and while there are some guitar riffs that really shine, they're all too often smothered under the bland vocals and that leaves me feeling a bit disappointed in the whole thing.

This is Fracture's first release and it is an independent effort. I will give them kudos for that, because even though I think this band needs a little more balls and some tweaking on their arrangements, the overall production sounds great. Excellent recording quality and a good DIY package always scores points in my book. I'd like to see this band evolve a little, and hopefully it will be in a less mainstream direction. I hope they decide to let the masses come to them instead of softening their sound, which is already a bit too safe, to gain mass appeal. We'll see.

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