Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Struc/tures - Divided By

Struc/tures is a young progressive metalcore group that is appropriately signed on to Sumerian Records. Sumerian Records is known for being the home to several progressive metal/death/screamo artists which include (but are not limited to) The Faceless, Animals as Leaders, Periphery, Born of Osiris, Veil of Maya, After the Burial, Asking Alexandria, I See Stars, The Contortionist, and Stray from the Path. Pretty much the only TRULY HEAVY bands that I’ve seen off this label are The Contortionist and The Faceless. The others have some heavy parts, but only The Faceless are able to stand up against the first track off of Struc/tures’ debut full-length.

Everywhere I see Struc/tures mentioned on the internet, I pretty much only see “progressive metal” or “progressive metalcore” under the description. If the whole album sounded like the first song, I would call them full on deathcore because there isn’t anything I’ve heard under metalcore that’s as heavy as this other than The Dead Lay Waiting and Mnemic. I know that this sentence will turn many of you away, but don’t let it do that because I’m not trying to do so, but this band reminds me of Bring me the Horizon in so many ways. In other words, since BMTH has gone way downhill with their 2010 album, Struc/tures is what those young BMTH fans need to be listening to because…well, Struc/tures is better! Although there are some elements that Struc/tures have in their album that are actually the faults in BMTH’s music (like the yelling thing), these guys take those faults and turn them into qualities.

Although the opening track is almost completely deceiving, the rest of the album continues to bludgeon you with down-tuned guitars and breakdowns so loud that they distorted the speakers during the recording process, making it sound like it’s YOUR speakers that are getting killed. The distorting of the speakers thing is unique and cool in its own way, but it’s something that starts to get annoying (my dad raised me as an audiophile, so I’m a freak about clean and crisp recording quality). That aside, this is one of the heaviest and most powerful metalcore albums ever to land a place in my collection.

The vocal styles go all over the place. Although using growls more than anything else; the vocalist uses screams, singing, talking, and even that infamous “Oli Sykes” yell (I know that other artists have been using that since the 1980s, but Oliver Sykes kind of put his face on the vocal style, unfortunately). The vocalist isn’t the BEST singer, but he definitely fits the requirements needed to sound good with the rest of the band.

The song that I would say is the best example of the band’s general sound is Hydroplaning. It shows the sound that (for some reason) almost every other Sumerian band has with the really abstract sounding chords, heavy exploding breakdowns, every type of vocal style used in the album, and tons of melodic parts and guitar soloing. So if you want a general idea of what this band sounds like, Hydroplaning is the song that you should look up first. Encounter reminds me almost completely of this “djent” thing that Sumerian Records has incorporated in almost all of its bands, along with these really fast and complex high-pitched guitar solos (sometimes referred to as guitar “wankery”). But not to say that it’s a totally negative thing, it’s just something that’s starting to become the Sumerian identity, which is not good, because a record label needs to have an extremely diverse range of styles that its bands cover.

Overall, this is a monstrous album and is one of the best progressive metal/metalcore album’s I’ve ever heard in my life. Definitely check this out because it’s not going to be very long before these guys are headlining tours and having big-name bands as opening acts. I would give this album 20/20 for being EXACTLY the metalcore album I’ve been searching for all these years!