“Fractured” is the latest release from Lunatic Soul, the side project of Riverside’s Mariusz Duda. Duda is one of the biggest talents in prog, in my opinion. Lunatic Soul has been very free form as far as style is concerned. Anything can happen! Some songs have been ambient, some more standard in structure, and others have been bigger and more epic (not as much as Riverside of course).
“Fractured” continues along the lines of the last album “Walking on a Flashlight Beam” in that it has a bit of everything. “Anytime” is very much the straight forward song with a lot of repetition. Unfortunately, it’s a little TOO repetitive and the song never really takes off. The opener “Blood on the Tightrope” is one of my favorite tracks, real drums through out and a solid hook. It’s quite progressive as well.
One of the most progressive tracks that Duda has ever done is the lengthy “A Thousand Shards of Heaven” which starts out as a sort of folk song before going more electronic and then more of a full band vibe. It really feels like a true journey. Just when you think you’ve arrived, there’s more to go! There’s a lot of electronics on the album which is okay when it’s used to start out a song like on “Battlefield,” but when it dominates the song too much like on “Red Light Escape,” I’m left a bit cold.
“Fractured” as whole is a very good album. I’d say it falls somewhere between the last album and elements of the “Eye of the Soundscape” album that Riverside released. Mariusz Duda is a formidable talent who follows his muse and rather than force his music to BE a certain way, he allows it to grow naturally. While others are lauding Steven Wilson, perhaps we should all be praising this artist for really breaking new ground rather than revisiting old ideas.
1. Blood on the Tightrope
3. Crumbling Teeth and the Owl Eyes
4. Red Light Escape
6. A Thousand Shards of Heaven
8. Moving On