Back in 2009, Uneven Structure said hello to the world with their hard-hitting, independent debut EP “8”. Through polyrythmic groove and an undercurrent of atmosphere and distant, dark melody, this French Progressive Metal unit made their first impression. The EP had a very Meshuggah-esque feel to it as they were still searching for their sound and heavily influenced. Essentially, it is a good first effort but the band progressed heavily afterwards.
They spent the next two years developing their first full-length masterpiece, “Februus”. Its 2011 release via Basick Records brought a brand new, awe-inspiring sound forged in both metal and pure genius. The grooves were massive and the atmospheres were deep. The whole album brought majesty and an ethereal nature to the forefront, delivering a thought provoking musical journey. Consisting of two discs (number two containing pure, atmospheric immersion) clocking in at around an hour and a half, the content and depth was abundant. It’s the kind of album I still find myself getting lost in. “Februus” is more than just music, it’s an experience.
A little while back, Uneven Structure announced the release of a new EP. After fully experiencing “Februus”, this got my attention immediately. It was actually through talking with their manager that I discovered the EP would be a re-imagining of their debut. The concept was intriguing. Then the artwork was released… Ohhh yeeeah!
Days before receiving my copy of “8” in the mail, I had the 2009 version on repeat. Getting re-acquainted with the original seemed like an appropriate step before listening to the updated version / writing this review. Turned out to be a good move.
When it arrived, I let my mind melt like wax into the imprint of “8” throughout the course of several listening sessions. It was immediately clear that Uneven Structure brought back many riffs from the original in a very much updated and tighter fashion. So similar to the 2009 version, the Meshuggah is strong in this one but very much toned back from the original. The experience is greatly refined with plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your feet. In some ways, this EP is the marriage of the atmosphere and forward-thinking musicianship found on “Februus” with the heavy rhythmic backbone of the original. This an angry, abstracted re-envisioning.
“8” plays out as one song and the CD itself is one track so I’m not going to bother with song titles. There are plenty of stand out moments waiting to be discovered and re-discovered here. From creative, new embellishments to some of the best grooves I’ve heard in 2013, this is a treat for your mind to devour.
There are a couple downsides to the EP. First, compared to the massive size of “Februus”, “8” is a very short-lived experience (24 minutes) that honestly doesn’t compare as a follow up. Second, through re-creating their debut, they’ve also brought back some of it’s flaws. But the quality content of this release generally makes up for everything. As far as I’m concerned, this EP is the delicious snack that comes before the release of masterpiece number 2.
And of course with re-issued music there tends to be conflict between fans as to which release is better. Typically it’s the original. But in this case, 2013’s version of “8” is the clear winner. At this point, listening to the original EP just makes me want to play the new one again. I’m assuming this is what Uneven Structure was going for with its re-creation. They have succeeded in breathing new life and experience into good, old ideas.
All in all, “8” is a satisfying venture back into the Uneven Structure. I highly recommend giving the entire release a good listen through the stream above. And if you enjoy be sure to show some support, check “Februus”, and stay tuned for what comes next. THALL.