Review Summary: Groovy metalcore chops for all.
Structures are a five piece metal band from Ontario, Canada. They play a blend of hardcore, progressive, and technical metalcore (yes, it's been done before) which come together to form All of the Above.
At this point you may have already written this band off to be your run of the mill, trend hopping metalcore band. Fortunately, this is not the case. Albeit all members of the band remain under the age of 20, they eclipse their genre peers and prove this with ease. Whether it is the heartfelt vocals or the dual guitars which boast everything from tapping to erratically soaring across the fret board, it is apparent that Structures display musical talent and a large amount of potential.
Every musical genre is plagued with certain trends and redundancies. Currently in the metal scene, the overwhelming trend is the act of being "brutal". Perhaps the result of bottled teenage angst or even lack of musical integrity, it is now advantageous for bands to incorporate these elements into their music. Bands such as White Chapel and early Bring Me the Horizon have all had their rise to popularity because of it. Rest assured, Structures do not fall into this category. While the guitars will briefly incorporate a chug or two, by no means do they use it as a crutch. All of the Above
is filled with spastic riffing, calm induced picking, and complementary sweeps. Overall, the recording quality is crisp and there is rarely a dull moment to be found.
Although their songwriting has room for broadening, they are well developed musicians. The five are each good at what they do and keep the listener attentive. Perhaps the most significant attribute of Structures' sound, is that their music is fun.
The drummer incorporates blast beats, frequent tempo shifts, and fills which provide a sturdy back bone for their music to build upon. The guitar licks provide tasteful arpeggios and melodies, not dissimilar to those found in post-hardcore. For instance, “Transitions” fades out with a dreamy Circa Survive sounding riff which serves as a delicate conclusion to the song. Structures are a band which clearly prefer to keep things on the move, and throughout the album there is a constant sense of churning in different directions.
All of the Above
is impressive, but it does leave much to be desired. The vocalist bellows out harsh vocals both highs and lows, and also displays catchy singing in several of the tracks. The flaw lies within his lyrics.
Gravity holds us to a stand still.
Look for the better signs;
We're all in pursuit of this time.
Taken from the song “In Pursuit of”, it's not that they are terrible, just generally unimpressive. Another issue the album holds is that the bass is practically non-existent. It's deep in the mix of the instruments and I have difficulty identifying it. The only other aspect holding these guys back from a higher rating is that the album becomes redundant. By the time “Still Waters” begins to play, you develop a sense of predictability.
Keep in mind however that this is just an EP, not to mention the band's first release. I look forward to their progressions and maturity as a band over the upcoming years. Bands have disappointed after promising EPs in the past though, so only time will tell. All of the Above
is a fresh take on metalcore and a fun listen in general. I recommend it to anyone a fan of the genre.
Sub-genres are meshed quite well
Talented musicianship on display
Overall fun listen
Becomes slightly repetitive
Minuscule amounts of chugging but they're present
Poor lyrical ability
Recommended Tracks: "Still Waters", "Transitions", "Departure"