Back in 2011, French progressive metallers Uneven Structure released Februus – a landmark album for the much-maligned genre, djent. Combining a wide range of influences from TesseracT to Karnivool and, of course, Meshuggah, Februus still stands the test of time six years later. Now Uneven Structure are back with La Partition, which marks another career milestone and is, frankly, fucking epic.
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La Partition is a real step up from Februus.
One of Uneven Structure’s main strengths is their ability to pace their music effectively. On La Partition, you won’t be subjected to a constant barrage of unrelenting brutality. Uneven Structure leave plenty of space, giving you room to breathe before the next heavy section hits.
Then, when Uneven Structure do decide to go for it, you’re in for a hell of a ride.
La Partition kicks off with Alkaline Throat and Brazen Tongue, which set out the framework of Uneven Structure’s new style. We’re talking choppy, fragmented grooves; angular, melodic lead lines; and screams like a fighter jet’s afterburners, as well as a hell of a lot of vocal and musical versatility.
Incube was a great choice of advance track – and it is extremely diverse – but if your appetite has been whetted by that track, there’s still more to come. Crystal Teeth was the first real highlight for me, with elastic basslines and riffs reminiscent of Tool and even Rage Against The Machine. Meanwhile, Succube and closing tracks Our Embrace and Your Scent see Uneven Structure really come into their own.
You can hear some familiar influences, but Succube‘s jazzy bass intro and creepy harmonies set it apart – and La Partition‘s closing tracks go completely over the top in the best way possible. Your Scent is especially monolithic and utterly overwhelming. It is beyond intense.
Every copy of this album should come with a free neck brace.
In terms of weak spots, there are a couple of brief interludes called Groomed And Resting and Greeted And Dining, which indicate an underlying storyline. They’re really weird and unsettling, but that’s obviously intentional. Funambule is one of the most intense tracks on La Partition – and again, the vocal versatility is amazing – but in comparison to its peers, it sounds a bit generic. Finally, ninth track The Bait picks up toward the end with a blizzard of notes and drum hits, but there’s a bit too much rhythmic friction, and it drags too much in places.
Overall, though, La Partition is an addictive and engaging album that doesn’t wear out its welcome.
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