Fractal Universe

Engram of Decline

Album Type:
Release Date:
14th April 2017
Record Label:
Kolony Records
Total Tracks:

For a debut album, Engram of Decline by the French metallers of Fractal Universe is beyond impressive. Then again, it seems as if these guys have honed their songwriting since their very first release and EP, Boundaries of Reality. This time around, they’ve created a concept album that is based on Nietzsche’s “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” – a nearly 60-minute journey that encircles the history of human thought pertaining and building up to the philosopher’s notion of Übermensch.

Having listened to this album three times, I can now, with clear conviction, say that it is rightfully ambitious. The overall output is technical, yet melodic, and it is riddled with a properly thick (very fat) wall of sound. It has it all: spoken lines, death growls, a mixture of clean and harsh vocals that end up sounding thrashy at times, several groovy flairs in the rhythms, slow instrumental parts, a menacing classical act on the piano, as well as dissonant riffs that create atonal and eerie sounds. Engram of Decline is really a mixed bag, equipped with orchestral elements showcased just in the right passages. In addition to all of that, there is a guitar solo by Michael Keene of The Faceless, as well as a presence of a saxophone by Jørgen Munkeby of Shining.

Although Fractal Universe doesn’t dwell in the shadows of their influences excessively, it is obvious that they have practiced their crafts with Obscura, Meshuggah, and perhaps Gorguts in mind. The kind of chord progressions the two guitarists Vince Wilquin (who is also the vocalist) and Hugo Florimond are able to summon is a testament to that in the most positive light. They were able to pick up some technical aspects necessary to be exploited and created a sound that is truly their own – technical, djenty, lengthy progressive riffs with hints of black metal, and very melodic solos.

A uniquely sophisticated approach to the prog/tech-death genre that is virtuosic, but not lacking in direction. In other words, Engram of Decline is a tornado of fine musicianship that isn’t drowned in its own soup of senseless technicality.


01 - Premiss to Reality
02 - Sons of Ignorance
03 - Scar Legacy of Hatred
04 - Parricidal Ghosts
05 - Venomous Coils of a Holy Fallacy
06 - Backworldsmen
07 - A Name to Deny
08 - Narcissistic Loop
09 - Decline
10 - Collective Engram

Playing Time: 59:46

Vince Wilquin – vocals, guitars
Hugo Florimond – guitars
Valentin Pelletier – bass
Clément Denys – drums

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