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Fractured – Only Human Remains

Fractured - Only Human Remains

CD, Dependent, 2005

Ironically, what first sparked my interest in this release was the first track, “What Is The Moment Of Truth”, which features spoken word by It-Clings. On the first listen I nearly dismissed the rest of the album as run-of-the-mill electro-industrial/EBM. A big mistake which should be chalked to jadedness caused by too many mediocre releases being hailed as masterpieces in this particular genre.
Genre definitions aside, the second full-length release by this Canadian trio may not be completely groundbreaking, but it stands out as an extremely solid and accomplished piece work. “Only Human Remains” has excellent production values, skilled and creative composition as well as a few ideas which, if not innovative per se, give interesting twists to Fractured’s music.
Inherent characteristics of EBM/electro-industrial are obviously present in this album and, on first impression, some of the melodic work can almost be said to be reminiscent of the most derivative of genres, “Terror EBM”. However, Fractured easily push the conventions of these musical genres with complex and carefully layered music structures, creatively merging “conventional” EBM musical structures with distorted and broken beats, more frequently found in the Rhythmic Noise and IDM genres.
Another aspect that makes Fractured’s music worth of notice is the ingenious and creative use of effects and distortion in the vocal parts in “Only Human Remains”, with the voice in some tracks (like “Between The Lines”) becoming ‘just’ another instrument to be manipulated and played. Maybe this aspect could have been explored further but the end results are quite effective already. The lyrical content is quite good as well, though at times it is drowned by the distortion (and it’s only available in the band site…).
Not all the tracks in “Only Human Remains” are intense and contagious floor-fillers like “Between The Lines”, “Everytime” or “Only Human” remains. Calmer tracks, like the ballads “Haunted Memories” and “Try To Forget”, aptly show the skill and versatility of Fractured and of their instrumental compositions. And, of course, the black sheep of the album, “What Is The Moment Of Truth”, shouting abuse in your face. There simply isn’t any filler material in this album.
This is a great release, with serious edge, from a band that clearly know what they are doing, and one might venture the guess that they would probably be just as comfortable producing music in other unrelated music genres as well. One couldn’t ask for a better introduction to modern EBM than Fractured. The only catch is that, after listening to this album, quite a few bands in this genre will sound stale by comparison.


— Miguel de Sousa

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