Another Monday, another Benelux Music Appreciation day. On today’s menu we’ve got ‘Massive Human Failure’ by Belgian brutal death metal four-piece Fractured Insanity. The band’s fourth full-length hit the shelves last February at Massacre Records. Yes, it’s been out for a while but I doubt it’s ever too late to take a closer look at any record, especially when you’ve given it less attention than it initially deserved. I admit I’ve had it since its release and has been collecting dust ever since. But with the surprisingly constant flow of new releases, despite the pandemic slowing things down, some records were bound to get lost in my library. It’s just a shame it had to be this one. Still, little harm done since now is the perfect opportunity for me to finally give it the ol’ spin.
Let’s face it, after four releases Fractured Insanity have earned their name among the brutal death metal big shots and ‘Massive Human Failure‘ is the record to prove it. Their latest serves as a lesson in pummeling with one death metal stomper after the other. Yet it isn’t just mindless violence. Sure, you’ll find your straightforward brutality in tracks like opener ‘Crusade of the Offended‘, but some songs like ‘Rothschild’s Disease‘ or ‘Rise All Above‘ enjoy a groovier twist than I expected. And even so, the songs are dripping with style thanks to the thought-provoking and appropriate subject matter, ranging from atrocities of war to humanity’s deteriorating state of mind. Have a listen at ‘M.A.D.‘, to cite the clearest example, and tell me I’m wrong. ‘Massive Human Failure‘ wasn’t defined as a concept album, but works as one to some respect.
For all the brutality, Fractured Insanity aren’t afraid to take the tempo down a notch from time to time. ‘Hell of No Man’s Land‘ is indeed a slower track, but none the weaker for it. It’s a hulking mass of a song that tackles the horrors of WWI not only lyrically, but musically too as it seems to forcefully drag you across a blood-soaked war zone. Note the fitting guest appearance by ex-Bolt Thrower, and current Memoriam singer Karl Willetts. We get a moment to breathe a little as well with the instrumental intermezzo ‘Reflecting of the Soul‘, but on the whole we get little respite.
Some songs on the record take on a blackened death metal spin, which I really dig. Think of Behemoth’s earlier work and you should have some idea. It’s one of Fractured Insanity‘s greatest strengths, as I find these songs to be among the most memorable. I think I can honestly say ‘Baphomet Bringer of a Free Mind‘ is, to me, the best track on the album. Title track ‘Massive Human Failure‘ and ‘Panic Abuser‘ also have unforgettable passages thanks to this approach. Moreover these songs have outstanding spots on the track list. Not usually something I find decisive, depending on the concept, but here it makes for welcome variation and makes certain songs stand out when they need to.
Release date: February 21st, 2020
Label: Massacre Records
- Crusade Of The Offended
- Baphomet Bringer Of A Free Mind
- Hell Of No Man’s Land
- Massive Human Failure
- Reflecting Of The Soul
- Rothschild’s Disease
- Panic Abuser
- Rise All Above