By Niki D’Andrea
For the past six weeks, I’ve been asking local bands to send their CDs to me for review in this weekly “You Asked for It” blog. The original idea was that bands who complained about not getting coverage from us while we covered “inferior” local bands could finally get what they wanted – and the original premise was that a lot of these local CDs would suck (some of the complainers had actually sent me their CDs, and I didn’t like the music, so I declined to write a negative review, which meant no review at all). I vowed to review every single local CD sent my way (in the order they were received), and write my honest opinions, for good OR bad.
Surprisingly, I’ve only gotten one CD so far that I really didn’t like and ripped to shreds – that was metal band Reign of Vengeance, fronted by Marshall “Fucking” Beck, who has often told me that I don’t know shit about real metal.
But I do. And so does the band whose CD I’m reviewing this week, Fracture Point. I’ve been a fan of their monstrously guttural and progressive metal since seeing them play at the Brickhouse Theatre last year, a show I retreaded in my Niki at Nite column. When Fracture Point’s debut, full-length CD hit my desk, I couldn’t wait to pop it in the player.
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Fracture Point Inherit the Downfall (self-released) Phoenix metal band Fracture Point sounds like a mastodon stampede, but instead of directionless destruction, this beast intelligently winds its way through a well-constructed maze of down-tuned guitars, burly bass lines, screaming solos, and tricky timing changes. In the “sounds like” category, they’re akin to bands like Lamb of God (largely because, like LoG singer Randy Blythe, FP singer Ben Rosputni deftly alternates between sickeningly guttural vocals and pointed, upper-register screams), Dillinger Escape Plan (with whom FP shares a fondness for unconventional song structures), and Tool (like Tool, FP exhibits stunning musicianship on the part of every player, often stretching across epic songs riddled with doomy tribal beats and crunchy chord progressions). One listen to the song “Manic Aggression,” with its sinister, roiling bass lines and bludgeoning power chords, and it’s clear that Fracture Point has a visceral connection with metal, and knows how to pick the bones of the genre to a glowing sheen. By the same turn, they’re not paradigm purists, either -- Inherit the Downfall stretches the boundaries of metal, from the jazz-infused instrumental “J69” to “Last Minute” – which pummels the listener with lurching rhythms and sledgehammer-heavy guitars for five minutes before creeping the listener out with a hauntingly beautiful piano melody for the last two. For those who like their metal served heavy, but with a side of intellect, Fracture Point hits the mark with brutal force.
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NEXT WEEK’S REVIEW: The new album from Valley rapper Fetti Profoun.