31 October 2011
by David Keevill
Okay, take your hand and cup your balls. Feels good, right? Now do the same, but do it holding a dozen metal tacks. Yep, now you have a bleeding scrotum.
Hard as it is to believe, the French ‘djent’ quintet, Uneven Structure have evoked the same kind of dichotomy from their first full-length offering, Februus. Being at once completely immersive and all-encompassing, whilst also strangely uncomfortable and jagged, this is unsettling and complicated music that provides a startlingly rewarding listen.
Jump into this album at any point and you’ll be up to your neck in swirling ether and gloriously low-end monotone guitars that follow disorientating time signatures, all coming together to set up this huge overwhelming mindfuck. Don’t expect immediate satisfaction – if you’re likely to spaff your load on a Young Guns track, then don’t be disappointed by the absence of instant gratification here. Februus is a grandiose slab of progressive metal that calls upon texturing and the listener’s patience for the full effect to seep in; opener ‘Awaken’ may erupt in an explosion of gauntleted fist-fuckery, but it soon settles into the pace of the album and lends itself to the overriding completeness of this record.
It’s eternally to Uneven Structure’s benefit that they don’t have a designated driver at any point during Februus and instead choose to flip between protruding vocals (‘Awaken’) or dark and frenzied guitar (‘Hail’), underpinned by persistent dissonant synth etched into their backdrop. It’s a refreshing reminder of how metal doesn’t have to be one big pissing contest, with all of Uneven Structure’s constituent parts coming to the fore at various points.
Watch the video to ‘Awaken’ by Uneven Structure:
This is an album that clearly favours the complete package (chortle chortle) as opposed to a record filled with hits. On the one hand, this creates a huge miasmic journey with some of the most techno-muso-geek-spunkerey around, but on the other it’s difficult to pull out album highlights from the voluminous whole that is Februus – but hey, you like djent so you’re clearly not here for the Bon Jovi knock-offs.
If you like your music with a bit of thought, a lot of befuddling polyrhythm and the most enveloping, transcendental atmosphere that occasionally erupts with abject brutality, then there is a lot worse you could do than Uneven Structure.
Sounds Like: Big Bang Theory meets the The Resonance Association, by way of ‘AAAAHHHHH, HOLY FUCK!!!’
Top Tracks: Hail (for the sheer bouncing monolithic weight of the opening riff)