Review Date: January 2021
Released: 2020, Independent
When I think of Costa Rica I think of bananas and rainforest. Who knew it is also the land of some fine progressive metal? TURMOIL is the latest from Fractal Sun, released independently by the band. Bonus points right away for a spectacular album cover; when you see it you know you’re in for some prog.
The album can be thought of as three acts, with the first act comprised of the first three tracks. The lyrics tell the story of Orianna, an ambitious scientist who, due to some difficult circumstances that the Earth faces, decides to abandon the planet. To do so, she steals one
of the most important technological advancements: the Dark Project, a spacecraft that would have been the key to save humanity (which is exactly what I would do).
The progressive elements really kick in with the second track “Escape”. While listening to “Lost” I was reminded of Opeth’s ‘The Lotus Eater’ – where the song takes off into almost jazzy territory. The second act is tracks 4 and 5, called ‘Visions’. On “Noxious Arrival” vocalist Hellen Quiros really shines, and the lyrics tell the story of unknown destinations and unforeseen circumstances. In the last act, “My Demise”, the main character is forced to face decisions that there are no coming back from.
The production and songwriting here are excellent. At times the lyrics can be a little cheesy, and I’m not one for spoken-word intros, but concept albums aren’t the easiest things to pull off. And the music more than makes up for it. Highly recommended.