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Pop-Tech-Death Masters Fractal Universe Get Saxy on “A Clockwork Expectation”


Rhizomes of Insanity, the 2019 album by French technical death metal wizards Fractal Universe, accomplished what so many hundreds of tech-death bands have been trying unsuccessfully to do since the mid ’00s: write super-catchy songs at a digestible length that don’t sacrifice musicianship. Put another way: pop-tech-death. In theory that might sound awful, but in execution it’s fantastic! I ranked the album #2 on my year-end list because I loved it that much.

The band will return with a new album in June, and they’ve just launched its first single, “A Clockwork Expectation.” The song sees Fractal Universe employing the same songwriting finesse they did on Rhizomes and then some, adding saxophone (by vocalist/guitarist Vince Wilquin) to a song that’s as catchy and dazzling as anything you’ll hear coming out of the death metal space this year.

Explains Wilquin of the band’s newest work, titled The Impassable Horizon:

“Despite the record being even more diverse, dynamic and including more clean vocals than its predecessor, the overall atmosphere is also slightly darker and more melancholic.” 

Drummer Clément Denys adds:

“We wanted to keep developing our musical personality and the natural sound we managed to get on ‘Rhizomes.’ It’s a very versatile and complex album. Musically speaking, you will find catchy songs which are really direct, progressive and mysterious ballads with epic saxophone solos, and technical songs with intricate riffing.”

The video for “A Clockwork Expectation” is nifty, too, shot at Gouffre de Poudrey, a cave 70 meters (230 feet) underground. The clip was directed by Vincent Tournaud and features an assist from Gojira’s Christian Andreu on stage scenery and production.

Watch the video for “A Clockwork Expectation” below. The Impassable Horizon comes out on June 25 via Metal Blade; pre-order here.

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