(This is DGR’s review of the new album by Fractal Gates, which was released on May 12th through Naturmacht Productions.)
Five years between discs is on the long end of the “should I just stop checking to see if this band is doing anything or move on” segment of the waiting scale for fans. It actually may be the darkest part of said scale, where you wind up quickly moving through the five stages of grief about letting a group go, yet being thankful at the same time for all the music you do enjoy from them while clinging to the hope that if something new does pop up in the future it will serve as a pleasant surprise. It’s an odd yet freeing type of emotional whiplash, and one that many fans of France’s prog keyboard-heavy melodeath crew of Fractal Gates had likely started going through as the time passed since the release of the group’s 2013 album, Beyond The Self.
The musicians in Fractal Gates have certainly kept busy during that time, particularly vocalist Sebastien Pierre, who has become part of a variety of projects including Enshine, his solo work through Cold Insight, his various Mass Effect cover songs and reimaginings, and even some work with Monolithe — but those who enjoyed the up-tempo, keyboard-heavy work of Fractal Gates finally got their own taste of new material this year with the group’s new, densely packed album The Light That Shines, a disc that has absorbed five years worth of experiences into its own introspective formula.