In Focus: Uneven Structure
As part of our In Focus artist series, we take a look at April’s band, French progressive post-metal six-piece Uneven Structure, and the albums that got them to where they are now.
We continue with their first full-length and label debut; prog masterpiece…
(2011) Basick Records
The point at which you enter the grand, atmospheric world of Uneven Structure is often memorable – but to do it in a live environment is particularly so.
My personal experience came a little while after the release of Februus, their debut full-length album. I was unsure what to expect the first time; I saw them live in 2012 not having not heard a note of their material. They followed The Algorithm at Basick’s joint evening with HMV at the London Barfly. I had only skimmed the surface of the UK Tech scene at the time, with bands such as SikTh and TesseracT piquing my interest for the inaugural UK Tech Fest.
Carrying themselves like a progressive, less-comical (and more French!) Killswitch Engage, I was instantly sold and bought Februus straight away off that performance.
Listening to it, even now, is an experience to which skimming through the songs separately just doesn’t do justice. The songwriting is such that Februus flows like one extended piece of music; it weaves between intense rhythmical sections, that managed to sound different to the metalcore blend of djent that was gaining popularity over in the States around that time, and atmospheric ambience. Matthieu’s vocals provide a baritone alternative to the Dan Tompkins and Spencer Sotelos that ruled much of the scene. The production of the guitars was a little different from the typical Meshuggah worship of their peers as Uneven Structure opted for an almost post-metal approach to their tones which matched the overall ambience that runs through the album.
Even for someone who tends to lean towards more core-based influences, Februus was only ever matched by Vildhjarta’s Måsstaden in terms of intricate flow as a singular piece, and it still does. It was vivid and bold, which set it apart from the many other bands who were growing in popularity.
This was proven further by the three-track second disc, comprised of reflective atmospheric tracks stretching the release by another 30 minutes, which work perfectly as a coda to the rest of the album. Where albums like TesseracT’s One managed to tread new niches for tech metal, Uneven Structure pushed a little further, almost blurring the lines between the djent movement, post-rock and metal.
With their second album looming and six years since their last full release it’s likely that we will presented with more extravagance, especially if “Incube” and “Funambule” are anything to go by.