Bill Noland, Progression Magazine #56, May 2009
Style: Progressive Rock
Sound 3 | Composition 3.5 | Musicianship 3 | Performance 4
Total rating 13.5
[out of a maximum of 4 each or 16 total]
Fractal is a San Jose, Calif.-based quartet comprising Paul Strong on drums, Jim Mallonee on bass, vocals and keys, Josh Friedman on guitar and vocals, and Nic Roozeboom on guitar, keys and loops. Sequitur is their second album and finds the band working in a style similar to recent King Crimson, with other modern influences.
This album opens with the instrumental "Ellipsis," where engaging melodic riffs disguise a subtle complexity. "Aftermath," the disc's longest track at 9:14, is the most successful vocal piece and integrates a fine drum feature into its extended and interesting middle section.
"Mauves" provides a creepy instrumental backdrop to Donald Rumsfeld's paradoxical "known knowns" speech before segueing into "The Great Pain," with its tortured Adrian Belew-like vocals. "Giving Tree," "A Fraction Of One," and the spacey instrumental "Coriolis," present a more sedate and moody side of the group, while the closer, "Bellerophon," has an ambient, techno feel.
In all, a diverse and interesting album that should appeal to fans of rock music with an uninhibited and experimental edge.