When you think about it, the term “sure bet” is nothing more than an oxymoron. However, there are circumstances when I feel comfortable using the aforementioned phrase such as when I refer to any album in the Willowtip Records catalogue. First, it’s a sure bet that anything – even randomly selected – from Willowtip will yield a disc that’s technical overall. Second and probably most importantly, it’s a sure bet that anything pulled out of said record company’s bag will reek with quality. And, furthermore, CAPHARNAUM’s “Fractured” is a testament to all the preceding statements.
On paper, this Floridian outfit features members from bands like 5 BILLION DEAD, MONSTROSITY, TRIVIUM and CROTCHDUSTER. In the sound department, though, you won’t be as concerned with the members’ other projects, because you’ll be trying to keep up with the group’s unparalleled intensity. Essentially, “Fractured” is half an hour of Technical Death Metal with occasional breakdowns that are simply mind-boggling. Needless to say, this quintet is at the top of their musical game and it shows in spades. The opening track – “Ingrained” – is a good indication of what the five-piece have to offer while “Perpetuate Catatonia” furthers the lightning-fast, tenacity with which the band play. I was beside myself with envy, after finishing “Icon of Malice,” due to the brilliant musicianship.
I was disappointed to learn that CAPHARNAUM’s latest ran only the better part of thirty minutes, but the material pacified me with ease. As I said earlier, Willowtip Records has an excellent roster and “Fractured” is yet more fine support for that statement. I’m sure CYNIC would be proud of these guys. (Online July 8, 2005)