French progressive metal band Uneven Structure released one of my favorite albums of all time in 2011. Februus is a back to front masterpiece, taking the Meshuggah-lead djent movement and pushing it into the ethereal with cinematic soundscapes and an overall sense of wonder and passion. To me, the record is perfect, which is why three years feels like an eternity when it comes to waiting on a follow-up. The guys in Uneven Structure understand this, and they’ve been kind enough to hand us a scrap of new music in the form of a guitar playthrough of a 20-second segment of a new song, ‘The Scent.’
Uneven Structure have been hard at work writing the follow-up to their absolutely stellar debut Februus, which came out back in 2011. We’ve heard a few snippets from the record, all around maybe 20-30 seconds, but today we got a glimpse that’s over a minute long, and it’s just fantastic. It’s super groovy and filled with atmosphere and, if included on the record, will definitely be a standout part. I’ve jammed it numerous times already. You can hear the snippet at the Soundcloud link below.
Uneven Structure, as well as being masters of crafting huge and atmospheric Meshuggah-ian riffs and creating some of the most beautiful music videos around, are massive cockteases. There’s no other way to say it. I’m counting this as the third time we’ve heard snippets of new music from the band, but it’s hard to be annoyed when they sound this promising — the latest tease comes in the form of a two and a half minute long video that shows off groove, delicate atmospheres and even some blastbeats throughout. See for yourself:
02. On My Way
03. As It Is Above
04. So It Is Below
05. Another Me
06. Ground Shift
10. Wheels In Motion
11. The Signal
12. Verum Infiniti
While it may be better known for the release of some seminal ‘djent’ albums by the likes of TesseracT, Uneven Structure and Vildhjarta, another highlight in 2011 was the unexpected emergence of Circles, a band of Melbournians who, with their EP The Compass, not only won the plaudits of critics across the globe, but introduced to the style a refreshing degree of unpretentious accessibility. Fast forward two years, and the band have now returned with Infinitas, an album of powerful ‘djent’ anthems which thankfully retains the infectious accessibility of The Compass, but is also heavier and more aggressive than its predecessor. At the same time, Infinitas demonstrates an increasing sophistication in Circles’ song writing process, and again proves the band to be one of significant promise.
In what may be the most imaginatively titled post I’ve ever done, I bring you the news that tech-minded Frenchies Uneven Structure have begun to tease the follow up to 2011’s Februus. It’s not much and the quality honestly isn’t that great, but I guess that adds to the mystique of it all. So head over here to the band’s Facebook page and check it out for yourself.
Basick Records are definitely one of the better labels out there right now, especially in terms of forward-thinking progressive metal. Their lineup includes bands such as The Algorithm, Uneven Structure, Dissipate and Glass Cloud, just to give you an idea. Anyways, they’re now doing a new promotion called ‘The Summer Of Discovery’, and it sounds like a pretty good deal.
If there’s something oddly familiar about Uneven Structure‘s “new” EP 8, that’s because there is. Before signing to Basick Records and releasing their brilliant debut album Februus in 2011, Uneven Structure independently released an EP titled 8 in 2009 that established the band’s sound as a progressive ode to Meshuggah‘s extended-range and oddly-timed riffing. Now, four years later with a new lineup and an acclaimed debut under their belts, the band have decided to shift focus in the midst of new album sessions to re-record the EP that started it all. Listening to 8 brought into a more polished context makes it clear how much the band have changed leading up to Februus;8 focused primarily on low-end percussive riffing and aggression where Februus was more involved in lush compositions and haunting melodies that came together to form almost whimsical soundscapes. Allegedly, the EP was originally comprised of b-side riffs that didn’t make the Februus cut, and while the riffs aren’t bad, 8 seems almost primitive in comparison. It makes sense why the band would want to revisit this material and give it the attention it deserves. With re-tracked guitars, re-worked songs, and entirely new vocals, the proper re-release of 8 helps the source material transcend its original almost demo-like feel and adequately presents another adventure to hold listeners over while the band works on another all-new masterpiece. 8 isn’t exactly as whimsical and thought-provoking as Februus, but this twenty minute epic doesn’t disappoint, especially those new to the material that yearn for more of Uneven Structure’s heavier metallic edge. - JR
Although Uneven Structure are probably more well known these days for their unique approach to djent that incorporates post-metal and ambient influences, there was a time when the band was a lot more focused on creating extremely heavy and angular music that drank from the same glass as Meshuggah‘s Catch 33. 8 acts as one extended 24 minute track split into movements and was originally recorded back in 2009, but in the waiting period between the band’s debut and upcoming second album, they decided to revisit the EP and re-record and re-work it in full. And now you can hear it, in full, right here:
I typically subscribe to the belief that there is an indisputable “big four” of djent — Periphery, Tesseract, Vildhjarta, and Uneven Structure — and that these acts are miles ahead of the rest in the genre for various reasons. Uneven Structure for instance has always had this knack of being somewhat (perhaps unintentionally) Pink Floydian in spirit, with ambient soundscapes, epic progressive compositions, and the visuals to match. Case in point, the new video for ‘Frost/Hail’ from their brilliant 2011 debut album Februus.
The video, which is now available for streaming at Metal Injection, combines ‘Frost‘ with a chunk from the following track ‘Hail.’ It’s kind of a bummer that the band didn’t use the entire song, but a 13-minute music video would be asking for too much and I know that guitarist/graphic artist Igor Omodei has been slaving over this video for months. Regardless, the band executed the cut just right and the video looks gorgeous.
Februus is out now on Basick Records, and will be available in Europe this weekend as an exclusive vinyl record for Record Store Day. Since I’m based in America, I can’t get the Februus vinyl just yet, so count yourselves lucky if you love across the pond. Someone pick me up a copy and I’ll reimburse you. Seriously.
Hello, everyone! Welcome back! We left you last month with a week-long retrospective of the year in the way of our own personal best-of lists. With 2012 a thing of the past and a new year of promising releases coming up ahead, we felt it appropriate to open our posting cycle in 2013 with a look forward. Throughout the week, several writers will be giving you breakdowns on what records you can look forward to in the coming year. To get you started in planning the year ahead, here are five albums that you need to keep an eye out for:
Cynic – TBA Third Album (Season of Mist)
The progressive metal legends will see a return in 2013 with the follow-up to 2008’s Traced In Air. It doesn’t really feel like it’s been nearly five years since their critically acclaimed comeback, as the band have tied us over with several tours and EPs. Granted, the extreme metal roots that the band started with (the core being members of Death for crying out loud!) have nearly vanished, but Cynic have been leaning much more into a new-age psychedelic jazz fusion sort of sound that is both thrilling and thought-provoking.
Having returned to the studio in December, drummer Sean Reinert promises, “a bold new sound for CYNIC and marks a gigantic leap in the band’s progression. We’ve had a lot of time to let this material develop and gestate, and it finally feels ready to be unleashed on the world. I’ve been in trio mode with Malone and Masvidal flushing out a zillion and one details, and couldn’t be happier about what’s happening with these songs. They are truly alive!”
And with song titles like ‘Endlessly Bountiful’, ‘Moon Heart Sun Head’, and ‘True Hallucination Speak,’ you can guarantee that the band will be back in full force with their shamanistic aesthetic.