CD Review

Filament 38 – “Fractured”

By Marcus Pan

FracturedFilament 38 I’ve heard of for some time before actually getting a CD by them mailed to the Legends office off of their Negative Gain label. A one man project akin to Nine Inch Nails (just off the top of my head, of course, as there are others that will come to mind if I sit and think about it a bit – which I won’t) commandeered by Ash. Fractured is their debut release. Their most recent claim to fame is being nominated for the 2004 Cleveland Scene Music Awards.

Recollection opens with a heavy-handed guitar riff that melds itself into more of a rhythm combination. Vocals are more laid back than, say, Rammstein or good 'ol Alain; more spoken word than screaming word. Somewhat stock, but enjoyable. Pawn, which follows, plays up a little more melodically than the previous opener, but retains the industrial static that was set as precedent when the CD opened up.

Most of the album continues along the same vein, with stock rhythms, obvious melodies and simply applied guitar patches over whisper-spoken vocalizations. The end result is “yet another electro-industrial CD” which is surprising, because I have heard a lot of good about Filament 38 up until now from the occasional word that falls from the mouths of the public. Sacred is one of the highlights stepping up the snap beats and oozes into me, reminding me of work by Nothing Inside.

Dissolve applies more melodic attitude finally, stepping if only for a track’s length away from the pure-downtrodden sounds of previous tracks where low tone bass and rhythms are key. The brightest sounding track thus far, and I can’t help but once again mention at least some enthusiasm for the Nothing Inside comparison yet again. It ends abruptly almost in a “never got to finish it” fashion, but following it is one of the CDs definite highlights. Still Frame ups the bar on Fractured with intelligent combinations of chord progression and application of back beat and brush-style rhythms. It also finds itself riddled with interesting samples as well, one of the most complicated and better pieces of the recording.

Smoothing out a bit to close with Ember, Ash throws a taste of ambience into his rhythm-lead mixes. This is a great track to stomp about to, whether folks get in your way or not. Lacing the techno-industrial with a trance atmosphere, Ember is another favorite on Fractured.

Overall Filament 38’s Fractured is certainly not a bad CD. As a matter of fact it’s quite good. But it’s just that it doesn’t stand out higher or above the rest musically or technically. It’s, as I said, “yet another electro-industrial CD” along with many that have been crossing my desk. I don’t mean to put it down because surely it’s a worthwhile recording, and fans of this genre should consider picking it up straight away, but maybe this genre has become so infused with more and more that I’m finding nothing new or overly interesting to keep me happy. It’s almost as if Fractured has a bunch of decent songs, but only the ones that other bands would use as the fillers between their really good tracks.

Contact Information:
Negative Gain Productions
Post: PMB 171, 1770 S. Randall, Ste. A, Geneva, IL, 60134, USA
Phone: (610) 595-9940

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