Structures

Divided By

01. At Las[T]
02. hydroplaning
03. Encounter…
04. Paralyzed____
05. In Pursuit Of
06. Clockwork
07. Relapse; Signs.
08. Tunnel Vision
09. I.N.T.E.N.T.
10. /

[10/25/11]
[Sumerian Records]

Structures took many people by storm with their debut release All Of The Above. The EP was innovative and fresh – though rather chuggy – and it represented both the youth and talent of a band in a concise package that displayed what the band was all about. In fact, the record was good enough to catch the eye of a grand ol’ record company called Sumerian. It seemed as if they were signed without any hesitation, and sometimes that is one of the best signs that a band is good – but it seems that the signing has brought out the worst in the band.

Now, I don’t want to undermine the talent of this band; they are certainly good musicians and I think if that they find the right formula they will hit a home run someday. Divided By, on the other hand, has some glaring problems. I don’t want to talk too much about the terrible production as Alkahest was quite thorough with his distaste in the production and mixing, but I can say I completely agree with him on that front, and it’s undoubtedly a factor that affects the album in a negative way.

Moving right along then, Divided By isn’t entirely generic and terrible. I mean if you can somehow manage to look past the production, breakdowns, lyrics and copious amounts of chugging there is some substance here. Structures present their technical ability in very subtle ways, essentially mixing all the shred between fun groovy chugging and dissonant chords. It’s definitely engaging and the songs have a lot of contrast between passages, and although these fun moments of particularly groovy chugging and technical licks are plentiful throughout the album, they are constantly being brought down by basically everything that makes up your Emmures and Chelsea Grins (speaking of Emmure, Frankie Palmeri makes a fitting guest appearance on “Relapse; Signs“. You can also find Alex Erian of Despised Icon and Kevin McCaughy of Ion Dissonance making lackluster appearances on “Clockwork”).

After listening to Divided By you can tell that they have many influences and are capable of being more than just a typical brocore band. From the punk influences on “Paralyzed” and “/” to the electronic bits on “I.N.T.E.N.T“, there is much this band can explore. However, this doesn’t always end up working in their favor; the music seems to be going off on a tangent sometimes and is quite frantic between sections. Nevertheless, when it does work, it works really well.

It is also worth mentioning that the lyrics on Divided By often lack maturity and meaningful substance. Lyrics like, “so you can fuck yourself” and “goddamn everyone in this place because I hate everything,” litter the album with dumbed down angst, basically amounting to a flagrant overuse of the word “fuck”. I mean, the vocals aren’t terribly discernible through the typical hardcore style in which they are sung, but it is detracting knowing that there isn’t much to offer.

Though this album has its shining moments and offers many fleeting gems of enjoyment, it can be a chore to enjoy. It might be unbearable to some, but maybe it might be your thing. I actually like it despite its flaws and find that the moments of greatness this band is capable of  are worth sitting through the typical metalcore genre tropes and terrible compositions. Therein lies the problem though — you shouldn’t have to endure anything. With that in mind:

Structures’ Divided By gets…

2.5/5

– CD

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