Fractal Mirror – Slow Burn 1 (2016)

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First of all, my apologies! I’m a bit on the late side with this one, but this album was really worth to review! I interviewed Ed van Haagen in April (and you can listen to the interview here), and we discussed a lot about the new album.

Slow Burn 1 is Fractal Mirror’s third studio album, and a follow up of their album Garden Of Ghosts (check my review of Garden of Ghosts here). Sometimes Slow Burn 1 carries the same vibe as their previous album, like some sort of Fractal Mirror signature sound… Still, this album sounds like the members have ‘grown’ as musicians! The band got help from Brett Kull of Echolyn. He plays on a couple of tracks and was responsible for the producing and mixing of the album. There are more musicians contributing on the album as well, but most work is done by core members Leo Koperdraat, Ed van Haagen and Frank Urbaniak. This is something you can file under pop-prog. I don’t like to use the name ‘pop’, but the music is catchy and accessible, while it contains a lot of surprising moments and elements you wouldn’t hear in just plain pop music.

The album starts with Prelude, a short intro, carrying a bit of a dark and dreary ambience, while follow up track Miracle is very catchy and up tempo. A song that could be released as a single. Numbers starts very tender and contains a lot of lovely mellotron sounds and community singing. Floods is the most beautiful track on the album, a real ballad. It contains a lot of emotion. The end of the song carries a real Echolyn vibe. Fading is a bit of a strange track, but somehow quite enjoyable to listen to. Universal is a very good and festive track to end the album with. It’s the longest track of the album, but that’s because it has a very surprising ending, and it puts a smile on my face.

Slow Burn 1 is a wonderful album! My personal favourite is still Garden Of Ghosts at the moment, but this album is a very good follow up, and I can’t wait for Slow Burn 2! I can understand that some people aren’t fond of Leo’s singing style, but I think it fits the music perfectly. Very strange that Leo and Frank never met, while they made three albums together. I do hope that they will meet each other soon!

****+ Iris Hidding

  1. Prelude (1:43)
  2. Miracle (4:54)
  3. Number (5:34)
  4. V838 (6:45)
  5. Floods (4:44)
  6. Mist (4:44)
  7. Enemies (5:18)
  8. Embers (6:46)
  9. Fading (5:53)
  10. Artifacts (3:48)
  11. Universal (8:26)

http://www.fractalmirror.net/

You can listen to the album teaser here:

You can also read my review on House of Prog:

http://houseofprog.com/blog/2016/05/09/fractal-mirror-slow-burn-1-2016/

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