Structures
Life Through a Window


3.5
great

Review

by Josh Brown USER (5 Reviews)
May 13th, 2014 | 38 replies


Release Date: 05/13/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This is not the Structures you know and that's a good thing...

The fact that Structures managed to do so well with a debut as inaccessible as Divided By is beyond me. While it wasn’t exactly bad, it completely overwhelmed the listener with its bizarre mish mash of technical metalcore, pop punk and groove metal that missed more times than it hit (Hydroplanning joke completely intentional). Maybe I am being too harsh, but to anyone who actually managed to sit through the entire of the aforementioned album then you sir, deserve a medal. So here we are, fast forward three years, subtract a vocalist and bassist and you will end up where we are now, Life Through A Window.

In fact, when I first heard ‘The Worst Of Both Worlds’ featuring Drew York (Stray From The Path) it seemed like it was over for Structures, as if they had fallen apart before they had a chance to show what they could do. In fact if it wasn’t for the early release of ‘Follower’ I probably wouldn’t have even listened to LTAW, which to be honest would have been completely unfair. However, this is not the Structures you know; sure they still play 8 string guitars with their own brand of groovy tech, but the main difference here is that this is a significantly more focused band. The biggest problem with Divided By was that it never really felt like you were listening to a cohesive song, just a clusterf**k of genres thrown into what they perceived as music. LTAW does not completely do away with this but it sure does come close.

Guitarist Brendon Padjasek has stepped up to fulfil vocal duties this time around and to be fair, he is a pretty competent guy to have behind the mic. Sure he won’t win any points for diversity but his shouts compliment the bands new found focus. But I probably should have got this out the way first, if you’re not a fan of groovy riffs, tech, breakdowns or Sumerian Records (then again who is?) then you should pretty much just ignore LTAW, it will not change your mind, it does not do anything ground breaking and it sure doesn’t care what you think. But this is a good thing, instead of trying to do way too much at once, Structures have rolled back the tempo and actually learned how to blend their original vision of tech and heavy riffs into something that at times is pretty impressive. Hey, I even managed to sit through it in one sitting.

Instrumentally LTAW is a lot more melodic in its approach to lead guitar work, occasionally playing around with atmosphere with some nice reverb plus delay sections that actually have those cool moments that just weren’t there in the bands prior material. Album opener ‘Buried’ demonstrates this nicely before jumping into some pretty crushing rhythm work. Drums have been scaled back, but once again, this is a good thing. Instead, precision is key and Andrew McEnaney should be pleased with his performance. Rhythm work wise, it’s a massive improvement over Divided By (if you can call it rhythm). Songs have a definite direction that they are headed in and it’s nice to see these songs have an obvious timeline rather than being an incomprehensible collection of riffs that have been super glued together. Production is also pretty strong, but nothing spectacular which is the staple mark of Sumerian Records brand of new wave metal bands. However there is less studio trickery here, which plagued prior releases, but then again this probably was to do with the bands overly ambitious initial attitude.

So you’re probably looking at that 3.5/5 up there and scratching your head. LTAW is not perfect; in fact I should probably not enjoy it. On paper this album represents almost everything I hate about modern metal, but I cannot shake the similar ‘fun’ feeling that IKTPQ had on their latest release. Songs are dominated by low tuned 8-string guitar grooves pretty much all the time, hate breakdowns? LTAW has loads. Hate featured artists? Happens twice. Not a fan of sing along gang vocals? Deal with it. Goofy lyrics? Why are you still reading this review? So yes, it is far from perfect and falls into a lot of trappings that have become associated with the metalcore/tech scene. But Structures have managed to create an album that shows what they are capable of. We can only hope that they use this as a point of reference and branch out into lands anew.


user ratings (95)
Chart.
3.2
good
other reviews of this album
Daniel Davis (3)
Forced maturity....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Grizzlypyro
May 13th 2014


184 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Longest review I have done so far, came out a few days ago as Divided By is a guilty pleasure of mine. Constructive feedback is welcome as I'm trying to improve my style.

Spec
May 13th 2014


27271 Comments


Might check the whole thing out. The songs I've heard so far didn't do much for me.

Digging: Midnight - No Mercy for Mayhem

nononsense
May 13th 2014


3429 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The production is much improved

Grizzlypyro
May 13th 2014


184 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I felt the same way until i heard Follower and Buried, but it never really evolves too much beyond that style which is a shame.

Diamondize
May 13th 2014


1367 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

some fun shit to bump in the car, but that's about it

adr
May 13th 2014


3306 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

sucks

Digging: Full Of Hell & Merzbow - Full Of Hell & Merzbow

J0ckstrapsFTW
May 13th 2014


3658 Comments


I fucking hated the single so I don't have high hope for this

Digging: ERRA - Moments Of Clarity

FearThyEvil
May 13th 2014


12694 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

This was surprisingly okay to me. It really goes against what I say about this genre but for some reason I enjoyed this to an extent.

Grizzlypyro
May 13th 2014


184 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pretty much how i felt about the whole thing, checked it on a whim and was pleasantly surprised. Definitely a step in the right direction for them too.

Koffiiing
May 13th 2014


1217 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i expected a train wreck but ended up enjoying this
vocalist needs to become a fuckton more expansive but its so much more focused instrumentally than Divided by was

Asmodeuss1990
May 13th 2014


200 Comments


So basically its above-average metalcore thats fun to bump? I'll check it out.

CrimsonLies
May 13th 2014


2045 Comments


I'm not quite sure what the album cover is trying to tell us tbh

paradox1216
May 13th 2014


515 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Divided By wasn't focused or structured but it was mostly coherent at least, and it had a lot of personality. My main issue with this on is it sounds very similar to Northline, SFTP and a bunch of other bands.

This one's still pretty fun on the surface, but I would have preferred they refined their OWN sound.

collision35
May 13th 2014


5 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Not as good as their other stuff but much better than expected. The album gets better as it goes along instead of fizzling out which is good. The vocals are monotonous though.

OwMySnauze
May 13th 2014


1091 Comments


I'll give it a chance but not expecting to like it after the two singles I've heard.

Dromasta
May 13th 2014


86 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I just checked out the stream on Youtube.. as far as djent-core goes, it's a pretty good album. I feel like too many bands focus on the grooves and less on writing interesting songs though. There are some really cool ideas spread all across this shit, but nothing truly blew me away. I can tell these guys are really trying to push the envelope and they definitely have a ton of potential. Maybe next time.

SnakeDelilah
May 13th 2014


8771 Comments


i bet this sucks

Digging: The Antlers - Familiars

SnakeDelilah
May 13th 2014


8771 Comments


i bet this sucks

AtomicShane
May 13th 2014


1929 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

it does

Digging: Trophy Eyes - Mend, Move On

KSK1
May 13th 2014


4094 Comments


Hated the songs I heard. If I ever listen to this it wont be for a while



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