Sometimes you discover that one band that seemingly comes out of nowhere and blows your mind. Montreal-based prog metal outfit Fractal Cypher have done just that for me. As such, I feel obliged to share the love. Do you want to like Dream Theater but wish they had a more modern sound? Do you love modern prog but feel like it’s missing that old school heart? Well, these guys have got you covered. Their recent release The Human Paradox combines shredding and extreme metal elements with that cheesy sound from the 90s for an experience that just works.


One of the freshest prog metal releases of the recent years is undoubtedly Gods of Eden‘s From The End of Heaven. Some of the modern elements in Fractal Cypher’s sound have the same vibe, with long-running melodic lines that cultivate into increasingly frantic tones. This is where the modern aspect of the band comes in. Some of the more modern Dream Theater albums, like Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence and Systematic Chaos had similar ideas, but they were never explored to the extent they are here.


Of course, you can’t have old school prog without two key elements: keyboards and emotive vocals. Well, Fractal Cypher have that down as well. There’s a heavy usage of keyboards, and that includes over top solo work as well. And of course, the vocals are very distinctive and reminiscent of the greats of the genre. These two aspects of the band’s style come together to hearken back to old Dream Theater as well, circa the classics like Awake. The Dream Theater comparisons might have gotten old at this point, but believe me that it’s a great thing. Being compared to a colossal band in the genre and coming out looking good is no small feat, especially for a band so young.


If these descriptions sound appealing to you at all, go check out Fractal Cypher right now. If not, but you love modern or old school prog, just do it anyway. There’s something in here for everyone. They just put out their album, but I’m already excited to hear what they can do next. In the meantime, I’ll keep spinning The Human Paradox.

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