Sound — 8
Struc/tures is a five-piece metalcore band from Ontario, Canada. This album, which was released on 10/24/11, is the first full-length from this band and the second release overall, following up last year's "All Of The Above". This album is similar in many ways to last years release, borrowing 2 songs and changing them slightly, but also different with the addition of poppy singing choruses and (unintentionally) grittier production.
I have lots to say about how this album sounds, but lets talk about the good things first. Structures is still one of the most brutal progressive deathcore bands out today, and I would argue that this CD is definitely helping the genre keep its head above water. There's no brand new genre-shattering moments on this record that you haven't heard before, but Struc/tures does a great job at smattering ball busting breakdowns, pop-punkesque choruses and ambient parts all in a song and not having it sound like the abortion of Frankenstein. I know it's pretty cliche to call a band "brutal", but when Struc/tures brings the heat, they REALLY bring it. I'm not talking about 1 note chugging on the low G# either; there's some really great frantic fretboard work on "Hydroplaning" and "Encounter" that a ton of chugchug bands just don't bother to play these days. It's worth pointing out though that all the musicians in this band are talented, there's frantic drumming, the screaming vocals are intense, and the bassist even has some shining moments. The only real complaint I could possibly have against anything musicianship related is the clean vocals. They can be sort of lacking at times, but they do their job.
There aren't many negatives to the album, but they do need to be addressed. To begin, the production on this album is very... Odd to describe. It's glossy and shiny for most of the time, but during certain points like the tops of bass drops and during some of the noisier guitar parts, the album clips. It isn't a glaring issue and it, for me, adds a sort of a sandpaper like effect to the fix which I like, but it can be annoying at times and I know people who are completely turned off from the whole album because of it. Another problem that bothers me a lot is that the songs that they ended up redoing sound worse than they did on the EP! For example the intro to Encounter is all palm-mutes instead of open strings like before and it really just takes a lot of the energy out of the song. It's kind of disappointing how weak the redo's are compared to other songs on the CD; I would go as far as to say that "Encounter" and "In Pursuit Of" are probably the least impressive songs on the entire record due to their changes in production and how they're actually played, which is really kind of a letdown. Overall though, everything's listenable and most of all, fun.
Lyrics — 5
The lyrics on this CD are really nothing much to write home about. Most are either passable for the deathcore genre or horrendously bad. Take the song "Clockwork" for example which probably has some of the worst lyrics in a while; it contains gems such as "We tried to care, but you were never there on time. Keep that in mind when you're running circles left and right" and "God damn everyone in this place, because I hate everything." Guys, your teenage angst is REALLY shining through, you should try to tone it down a notch or two.
Overall Impression — 7
Overall this is a fun album by a fantastic group of musicians with a little but of an immaturity problem at times. This album displays great musicianship but is slightly muddled by bad production at times which is a real shame. This is overall a pretty good album, but all in all this isn't an album with too much lasting value and will just fall into the bottom of my CD pile within a month or two.