The Foundry – 1
Good-day and welcome to the foundry, a monthly look at the new and emergent trends in metal. Expect album reviews, artist profiles and if I can pull it off, interviews. My name is Patrick Birchall and when I’m not listening to music I’m well… not listening to music. You get the idea, on with the show!
Today I’m going to talk about Uneven Structure and their recent début album ‘Februus’ which was released last month (November) on Basick Records.
Hailing from France, Uneven Structure are a six-piece Post-Metal/Djent outfit. For the uninitiated Djent refers to a sound achieved through heavy palm muting and is usually associated with heavy, syncopated riffs and unusual rhythmic patterns.
In fact the whole scene is really a breath of fresh air and a nice change from other technical metal that generally focuses on playing a million notes a minute. Today I’m focusing on one band to give you an introduction to the scene but I am working on a more comprehensive look at Djent as a whole and why you should care about it if you love metal or just music in general.
Sounding like the bastard child of Meshuggah and Pink Floyd, Februus takes you on an unprecedented journey through crushing metal sections and relaxing, ambient interludes.
The album is a double disc affair with disc one containing ten tracks that all very nicely segue into each other. I absolutely love it when bands do this, it really gives an album a flow and makes it feel more like a complete piece of work as opposed to a collection of songs on a disc.
Clocking in at a very respectable 56 minutes Disc One opens with ‘Awaken’ which really pulls no punches, starting with a very dramatic, tension building soundscape the band soon pull the trigger and the song spins on a dime into a groove-laden assault on the senses. Crossing over into ‘Frost’ which is much the same and features the very clearly Meshuggah inspired irregular staccato riffs. The rest of the disc continues on in a similar fashion with every song adding something new to the mix.
Disc Two contains three instrumental tracks that form what you could call an ambient symphony. Personally I feel it is the weaker of the two discs but that’s mostly because Disc One is so good.
One of the defining features of Uneven Structure’s sound is the presence of three guitarists which results in a very heavily layered and complex sound where both heavy distorted passages often collide with clean melodic movements. Several other bands in the genre have also feature three guitarists most notably Periphery and Vildhjarta, both of whom I plan to write about at a later date.
While at first the album can be hard to get into the presence of the ambient soundscapes lessens the shock of the metal assault but trust me, once you feel that groove you’re going to find it hard to go back to more normalised music, I do.
On a related note, the band’s first EP 8 is available for free from their website. Who doesn’t love free music? You literally have no excuse not to download it and give these guys a shot. http://www.unevenstructure.net/8.html