Review Summary: A band that emphasizes the "djunt" above everything else.
The Canadian quintet known as Structures isn’t going to please music critics with their debut long play record “Divided By.” The band garnered quite a bit of positive attention after the release of their debut EP, but they failed to build on their promising sound. The band follows in the mold of such horrific acts as The Acacia Strain and Emmure, but unlike those bands, they avoid sounding like utter garbage. Frantic guitar work and a pension for writing catchy breakdowns should immediately remind listeners of their labelmates After the Burial, albeit with a bit less melody and a lack of songwriting ability.
While the album has a fairly solid foundation despite its breakdown-centric structure, it is riddled with moments of confusion and lack of clarity. From album opener “At Las[t],” we hear songwriting clichés abound, with the soft buildup to an incredibly cheesy tough-guy style opening line. The band does succeed in writing an uptempo, very sharp rhythm section, but the melody seems lost in the production, which throughout the album emphasizes heaviness above all else. Many of the breakdowns and heavier sections come just shy of clipping, making it fairly annoying to listen to during the busier instrumental sections.
The worst parts of the record come in the form of the clean vocals and lyrics themselves, often destroying any rhythm and positive momentum gained in the course of the album. Album closer “/,” while an interesting track and potentially one of the better tracks on the album, makes absolutely no sense in the context of the full-length. Its melodic, pop-punk style is completely random and detracts from the album’s sound as a whole. The inclusion of a vocalist as notoriously bad as Emmure’s own Frankie Palmeiri on the track “Relapse; Signs” is also frustrating, as Nick Xourafas is already a superior vocalist and Frankie’s spoken-word rap style buildups are cringe inducing.
The album is not all bad, the lead and rhythm guitar work have many flashes of brilliance throughout the album, whether it is the “djunty” breakdowns and verses, or the fast-tapping dissonant sections sprinkled throughout the album reminiscent of bands like The Arusha Accord. Their style and technique saves the album from being unlistenable and gives songs such as “Encounter” and “In Pursuit Of” a signature sound. If you are thirsting for some immediate satisfaction in the form of heavy junz, this album comes in handy like many other albums cannot. If I was rating this album based on how good of an album it was to listen to in the gym, it would probably be a point or two higher, but as it stands, it marks a questionable foundation for a band with youth and inexperience in the metal and hardcore music scene.
“In Pursuit Of”