With a name like The Fractured Dimension, you know this has to be a great progressive rock band, and with an album titled On the Precipice of Many Infinities you know this is going to be good. And yes, the name and title live up to their billing. (By the way… that album cover…Come on!).
This band has it all, as they say, “An army of Progressive Metal’s finest musicians bring forth a soundtrack to life’s dramatic journey”. And so they do.
The album starts with narration from the famous writer Joseph John Campbell, an American Professor of Literature, stating, “The attitude is not to withdraw from the world when you realize how horrible it is. But to realize that this horror is simply the foreground of a wonder!” The words are set to deep, serious orchestration that grabs your attention as much as what is being said. What a fantastic mission statement for the album and the will to live beyond life’s daily tragedies. So, with that anthemic opening the music begins, with wonderful violin from Joe Deninzon, then mystical synthesizers join in to construct a soundscape of fantastic proportions, like an ELO instrumental extravaganza that even Jeff Lynne could not pen.
The main band members are Jimmy Pitts and Jerry Twyford, on keys and guitar/bass respectively. All of the other players are guests of extreme talent, an extensive list as can be seen below this piece.
Every track of this progressive symphony is a winner. With Nights of Somber Frost you will swear you are listening to the drums and guitars of Dream Theater mixed well with the keyboards of IQ and Kevin Moore from very early DT. The sound is so intense, especially when they bring piano to bear on the heavy drumming, lightning lead guitar and bass magic. Phyllis Rutter’s atmospheric vocals add depth, while the backing orchestration takes the whole production to another level, followed by a mesmerising guitar solo. Like a torrential rain storm, you just cannot escape. Presage opens with that thunder and rain, then jazzy bass, thumping drums and electric guitar, before Tony Banks level keyboards take over; Carpet Crawlers is the first sound to come to mind. The guitar work on this track is some of the best on the album.
Light Defiance segues from Presage and it sounds like one continuous track, until the heavier bass, guitar and keys take over. Dancing piano is added to kick up the tempo with Ayreon-like electric guitar blazing: you can tell they are having fun playing this, almost as much as I am enjoying listening. You don’t want it to end but can’t wait to hear what is next. Then, just to surprise you, an almost carnival sound opens Towards the Mysterium; simply inspiring. Lead guitar returns with deep bass, orchestration, atmospheric vocals, piano and inspired drumming, like a story without lyrics, something out of a soundtrack. Nylon guitar and Trans–Siberian symphonic metal mixed with Larry Fast keys – out of this world! More music and orchestration than we really deserve… over the top and loving every minute of it.
Mathematics of Divinity opens with powerful lead guitar, countering bass, fast moving piano, and massive orchestration. It would be incredible to see all of this played live. The atmospheric vocals are perfect. Every note passes by too fast, like ELO wanted to be… but bigger, a real orchestra of heavy metal proportions. Mirror Caverns opens like something from a Larry Fast Synergy album; wondrous keys telling fantastic stories. Imagine this music in Egypt looking at the pyramids, or the deep caverns of the Grand Canyon. It is simply mystifying how they conceptualised and played this track, one of the best here. The drums have an African tribal drums and it’s like a wide-open vista laying out in front of you.
Bedevilment and Bewilderment is one of my favourite tracks, immediately reminding me of music from a chase scene music, such as Valerian in Trouble from The Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets movie soundtrack. That jolt at the beginning is perfect. The running piano and revving lead guitar, bass and drums will get your heart racing. Triumphant Descent is another rapid paced run for the exits, full of dynamic keyboards and intricate bass, guitars and potent drums. Follow opens with a power drum and keyboard assault that would make Dream Theater smile. The piano is beautiful, and the guitar soloing will take you back to Arjen Luccasen. An over eight-minute symphony of power drums, heavy bass and some of the best keys you can imagine. The eerie keys are perfect for Halloween.
Beautiful female atmospheric vocals and piano welcome you to Moonrise over the Mountain. The piano work is deep and classic, electric guitar solos bubble out of the momentary silence, supported with bass and orchestration. A Santana–like solo masterpiece is the best on the album, then drums, keyboards, bass, and percussion join in with the magical piano. Excellent violin and strings close the album in a way that invites you back.
Never have I enjoyed a total instrumental album like this before. I always want lyrics with the music I listen to. The greater the story, the better the music for me. But finally I’ve found an album that absolutely doesn’t need lyrics, except for the opening “mission statement”. The cover art reminds me of those old MAD posters in the back of the magazine, that you had to fold over to find out what secret it held inside.
Get this album and enjoy something different, without words but with plenty of dynamic music.
01. Foreground of a Wonder (1:29)
02. Nights of Somber Frost (6:39)
03. Presage (3:02)
04. Light Defiance (6:55)
05. Towards the Mysterium (5:35)
06. Mathematics of Divinity (8:24)
07. Mirror Caverns (5:01)
08. Bedevilment and Bewilderment (4:25)
09. Triumphant Descent (6:38)
10. Follow (8:02)
11. Moonrise over the Mountain (8:59)
Total Time – 65:19
Jimmy Pitts – Piano, Theremin, Seaboard, Keyboards
Jerry Twyford – Fretted & Fretless Bass, Guitar
Joe Deninzon – Violin
Hannes Grossmann – Drums
Vishal J. Singh – Rhythm, Clean & Lead Guitars, Programming
Marcel Coenen – Rhythm & Lead Guitars
Bill Bruce – Nylon & Lead Guitars
Pete Generous – Percussion
Phyllis Rutter – Atmospheric Vocals
Jeremy Barnes – Lead Guitars
Tom “Fountainhead” Geldschlager – Lead Guitars
Mark Hawkins – Lead Guitars
Ron Jarzombek – Lead Guitars
Tom Kopyto – Lead Guitars
Jason Sadites – Lead Guitars
Carl August Tidemann – Lead Guitars
Phil Tougas – Lead Guitars
Danny Tunker – Lead Guitars
Record Label: Independent
Country of Origin: U.S.A./Germany
Date of Release: 26th June 2018