Progressive rock has continued to strengthen as a global force in recent years, stretching far beyond its Western limits and unearthing acts that would have otherwise fallen into obscurity. Luckily for us one of these is Absolace, who hail from Dubai, a city with as-yet uncertain rock credentials.
Fractals is an immersive release, but the all-too-obvious Porcupine Tree/Tool influences draw your attention away from the album’s intelligent and poignant feel. This is especially apparent in album opener Sirens and The Rise, which appear to have been lifted directly from Fear Of A Blank Planet.
Absolace are arguably a band yet to truly discover their own sound, but while Fractals feels almost unfinished, the album does flow superbly. Each song feels adoringly crafted, and there are no filler tracks to speak of. The soaring vocals of Nadim Jamal add an intense emotional depth to each song, particularly the Tool-inspired I Am So I Will and the evocative and melancholic Chroma Mera.
Absolace are a band with plenty of potential, and while it may not be the most original release this year, you may well listen to Fractals again and again.