Uneven Structure left quite an impression back in 2011 when they released the monumental, two-part concept album “Februus”. Listening was like exploring a whole world encapsulated in music. Then they struck yet again in 2013 with the re-make of their Meshuggah-esque debut EP, “8”.
Now, here we are, 6 years after “Februus”… “La Partition” has arrived! For the past week or so, Progressive Metal enthusiasts the world over have been digesting this new record. But the question remains… Did it live up to the hype and expectations?
Stick around and you can find out my useless opinion in regards to that question!
The album opens up brilliantly. Subtle keys bring “Alkaline Throat” into focus just before the music smacks the ears and sends chills down the spine. This track transitions flawlessly to “Brazen Tongue” to make what is probably my favorite duo on the album at the moment. The transition between these two tracks delights me in ways that are hard to pin down with simple words. So to be a simple dick about it, the transition feels like, “Oooo ya, Uneven Structure is back.” Their style has often centered around these smooth, yet dramatic, transitions and “La Partition” wreaks of this greatness. Tracks work together in teams to move the experience forward. This is great songwriting. Point blank. Period.
I’ll admit I wasn’t exactly blown away the first times I listened to the singles “Crystal Teeth” and “Incube” but they’ve grown on me since. I guess that goes to show the nature of Uneven Structure in a way. Patience will dig up the treasures in their sound hidden to the fruit flies of this world.
“Succube” begins to dig up the familiar rhythms of the past single “Funambule” in a brilliant, subliminal fashion of it’s own. This is all before the album hits us with the re-recorded version of the aforementioned “Funambule”. Oh my… hold onto your seats.
The album closes with quite the trio in “The Bait”, “Our Embrace”, and “Your Scent”. With the exception of the album’s opening tracks, this is probably probably my favorite stretch of “La Partition”.
Similar to “Februus”, I think it’s safe to say that “La Partition” weaves out a world as well. While I’ve yet to completely unweave and experience every nook and cranny of this one, it feels like “Februus” has a neighboring planet. As much as I adored planet “Februus”, one must give kudos to Uneven Structure for this furthered evolution. So, uh, kudos to you guys for being you guys.
This album has some of Uneven Structure’s lightest moments and some of their heaviest to date. It shows growth from a band that seemed like they were quite big enough, sonically speaking.
Oh, and I’m forgetting the A word… Atmosphere! This might be the corner stone of the band’s sound. On top of the generally massive sound of the album, transitions like “Groomed And Resting” and “Greeted And Dining” do a fine job of keeping this up!
Speaking of which, my only real complaint about this album is that it’s not longer. I know… Not a very original thing to say but that’s how it goes. The core album consists of 10 tracks with 2 of the above being those short transitions I just mentioned. Other than that, objectively speaking, Matthieu Romarin’s angular vocals and other moments won’t appeal to everyone. I guess spare moments of the album also feel Tool-esque more than I’m used to hearing from Uneven Structure – take “Crystal Teeth” for example. But screw it. I like Tool.
Oh, and not to be a complete audiophile but… I have to say, if you’re going to listen to this album, do it the right way. I’ve noticed that, with the depth of audio to “La Partition”, it’s easy to find versions that don’t do it justice. For example, my first listen was the moment the official online stream launched and it sounded too thin to the point of slight disappointment. I experienced something similar when the music videos had initially launched. With further listens (via CD and Spotify), I’ve realized that I’m just a goon for feeling that slight disappointment. Don’t be a goon.
To sum up the “La Partition” experience… This is art, chaps! And to answer the earlier question of hype and expectations, I was personally satisfied by this LP and will keep it in rotation moving forward. If you consider yourself to be a fan of lopsided structures or Progressive Metal in general, you’re probably going to want to check this one out! Speaking of which, the album is currently available for purchase to those who CLICK HERE! Enjoy!