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Review: Fractured Insanity – Man Made Hell

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Brutal death metal is our focus this week with Belgian group Fractured Insanity. Fractured Insanity released their latest album, Man Made Hell, on extreme metal label Xtreem Music from Spain. Xtreem Music has also hosted Hour of Penance and Kronos, so you can check out the label’s Bandcamp for similar music and to pick up Man Made Hell!

So let’s get the obvious out of the way: Man Made Hell is fast and heavy. It isn’t constantly super extremely fast like a lot of other brutal death bands, but of course they’re still fast. You can expect a lot of tremolo-picking and a lot of snare. When listening to a genre like this, I find it can be easy to blend a lot of it together because of the speed and typical occurrences of the genre, but Man Made Hell pulls out a few tricks that caught me off guard. For example, “Forced to Rome” slows to an almost black metal-like bridge before returning to the usual brutality then ending on a rather Behemoth sounding ending. The vocalist kind of sounds like Nergal when he hits higher notes (on any song).

I find that Fractured Insanity uses chords to build up drama or intensity on Man Made Hell. After heavy riffing or during an intro or after a solo you’ll hear those chords kick in and the drums play something solid behind them, so it creates a wall of sound (not in the shoegaze or psychedelic way). It’s not just random or noisy sound either; it’s fully sounding music. In between the bridges and walls you will be listening to some kind of heavy riff with killer, Nergal-esque vocals behind it.

The riffs change with each verse and eventually circle back to one of the previous riffs (sometimes). I dig the song progressions because it either comes full circle or it just goes in another direction. “Habitual Killer” is a song that goes in another direction by ending with serious tremolo-picked leads descending until the end. If it isn’t the whole song that goes off, it’s the leads that do like on “The Blame of Humanity.” Both guitars play in unison until you hear some fast sweeps by one then they go back to being in unison. While I’m on the leads, I gotta say that there are some really great leads on this album. Every song has them and it’s great every time. They add more depth to the music just like audible bass does. The leads change up too, like on the title track. “Man Made Hell” is kind of the epic of the album because of the way the lyrics are presented, the insane leads, the solo, the progression, everything. It is a song done really well.

“One Shot Salvation” is probably the strangest song on Man Made Hell. It has a really wiry sounding riff with chugs from the second guitarist and bassist to assist from time to time. The whole song is not like that, but a good portion is. “One Shot Salvation” switches between that and a more “regular” sound, if you want to use that word. Other than that, it drives the point home quick.

I’ll wrap the review up there and I want to comment on the really cool looking artwork. If you want to listen to brutal death metal that has unique drumming that changes up often, audible bass at points, kick ass leads, solos, and intense vocal delivery then this is the album to check out. I liked the guitar tones because you can hear every note being picked and the distortion isn’t sloppy at all, but that could be because of good production or mastering. Either way, I liked it.

Rate: 9/10

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