Fractal is a mathematical term (derived from the Latin term, fractus) that means a fragmented geometric shape that is changing yet similar. This well describes the band’s talent with their music. We have a fantastic thing happening on this wonderfully produced 16-track album by Fractal, a four-piece Prog band that is so like the magic of King Crimson, they’re likely to be one of the better practitioners of that unique style of music. On their new album, Sequitur, they create such a solid work that I’m in awe of the tightness of this San Jose-based band. On their self-released new album, they assemble a strong package that includes a booklet with lyrics and cool cover art to reflect their name and their extraordinary music as well as the extraordinary musical completeness of this second release.
The album begins with an unmistakable Crimson-influenced tune from King Crimson’s highly experimental Fripp/Belew/Levin/Bruford period. (Fairly, this Crimson period should also include the Gunn/Mastelotto incarnations of the band as they helped push the Crimson limits even further). The first track, “Ellipsis,” which anchors the Fractal album, is a strong 4:25 instrumental that will surprise you. It opens the way for the next song, a 9+-minute cut that lyrically revisits the tragedy of 9/11 in a melodic composition that fluctuates between the tender and the harsh in its music, replicating moods as it progresses through its time-span. The album’s ballad, “Giving Tree” has the soul of not only King Crimson at its root, but also an explorative style of Pink Floyd. The remainder of the expertly crafted tunes of rhythm and melodies stand out as strongly as the three touched upon.
Each song in Sequitur is a composition of strength and complexity, all of which solidifies the excellence of the album’s tunes. With the intensity of Fripp’s style of musical creation at play here, Fractal’s latest becomes an emerging classic that will have me – and you – reaching for it from time to time just to appreciate the genuine intensity of it.
I heartily recommend your further investigation of Fractal at their site, as well as their MySpace page. But to get the full uninterrupted effect, go for the album. It’s well worth it. Personally, it’s music like this that keeps me excited and involved in music. We desperately need more bands like Fractal.