Album review: Uneven Structure – La Partition
Genre: Progressive metal
Release date: 21st April, 2017
Record label: Long Branch
The sophomore record by French progressive metallers Uneven Structure, La Partition, is an album that comes six long years after the band’s debut, Februus (2011). And given how saturated the modern metal landscape is, especially the burgeoning world of prog, six years is a monumental gap that gives fans many opportunities to jump ship onto another bandwagon of a “hotter”, “more exciting” act.
However, luckily, La Partition is an album that justifies the wait, packed to the brim with experimental brilliance that sparks memories of the likes of Meshuggah, TesseracT, Gojira and everything in between.
The album explores the vast realms of the entire experimental spectrum during its run-time, blending despondent growls with accessible cleans thanks to the talents of frontman Matthieu Romarin on the mic. La Partition’s tripartite collection of guitar riffage also adds to the record’s charismatic, dynamic edge, as shredders Jérôme Colombelli, Igor Omodei and Steeves Hostin provide machine-gun intensity at the opening of “Brazen Tongue”, while also balancing out cleaner, more ambient tones, omnipresent throughout such cuts as the ever-building mid-record opus “Incube”.
The album’s songwriting also deserves fair praise. As is the deal with most prog records at the moment, La Partition is a concept album, yet, unlike most, this label doesn’t feel “gimmicky” or inappropriate for the music at hand. Every track on La Partition bleeds into the next to generate a fluid, constant experience, including the short interludes “Groomed and Resting” and “Greeted and Dining”, both of which exist solely to set up the tone for the songs set to follow in their wake. And with almost every other song clocking in between six and eight minutes, La Partition is a deep, intriguing record, earning its “progressive metal” moniker through musical diversity, inalienable technical skill from all involved and, above all else, just sheer intelligence.
Thus, not only does La Partition perform what any good sophomore album should do in that it expands upon the band’s debut in almost every facet, but it also is bound to satiate any follower of the experimental metal niche on its own terms.
La Partition gets 8 dudes falling through Coca-Cola out of 10.
La Partition will be available physically and digitally via Long Branch Records on 21st April.