Leon : Immediately when I started listening to Fractal Mirror’s newest album ‘Close To Vapour’ I wondered why the album was sent to Lords Of Metal for a review, as the music is best described as pop/rock with a hint of prog. The record reminds me more of Oasis than anything else. Anyhow, the musical project of the American Frank Urbaniak and the Dutch Leo Koperdraat has been around for a while and is releasing their fourth album now.
‘Close To Vapour’ consists of ten very accessible songs that could easily be played on the radio, the progressive influences are minimal and only pop-up on occasion. The music sounds recognizable and I strongly feel that I’ve heard something similar before, but I can’t really put my finger on what exactly. Maybe Steven Wilson’s latest record? Or maybe something from Oasis? Whatever it is, it makes the music sound very predictable and unadventurous, and is unable to stand out compared to their competitors. Don’t get me wrong, the music isn’t bad at all, and even the vocals are quite alright, but the band never stands out in any way. If I compare the music with some other bands that play softer music, like Kayak or Marillion, then I can only conclude that the gents are far removed from that level. Is that bad? Not at all! For me it’s the difference, however, between a band that’s really good and one that’s okay.
With ‘Close To Vapour’ Fractal Mirror is releasing a pretty decent record that is very accessible but also not very adventurous. Musically it’s quite alright and I’d feel safe to say that they’re on the top side of the middleclass. However, the music never really grabs me, so I don’t think I’ll be playing ‘Close To Vapour’ anytime soon again. Definitely not a bad record though.