Uneven Structure – Paragon
France is no strange land when it comes to producing progressive metal of great quality, so as soon as I was appointed the task of reviewing the latest album of Uneven Structure, “Paragon”, I knew it’d be quite the challenge because of the inevitable comparisons with other bands. However, I was pleased with what the quartet delivered in their third album, which was released on October 18.
We can define “Paragon” as an individual regarded as a perfect example of a particular quality. In this sense, each track in the album refers to twelve unique personas or archetypes. 52 minutes of pure emotion that go from the smoothest melodies to groovy beats that will make you stomp your feet and bang your head.
‘Magician’ is the first track on the album and starts with a soft melody on keyboard and vocals that gradually paces faster and faster until a drumbeat around the first-minute graces and builds up around the vocals, and then the guitars appear right at the final minute… and when it seems to stop, the “Hero” makes its triumphant entrance: drums and guitars playing a similar rhythm, clean vocals during the first part of the song, and then powerful harsh vocals that resound especially during the final line of the song.
‘Innocent’ was the first taste of the new material released by the French band back in July; they premiered a video directed by the band’s guitarist Igor Omodei. The bass at the beginning, courtesy of Benoit Friedrich, takes the lead as well as the clean vocals; as the song progresses, the guitars go heavier and heavier, and also the vocals.
Uneven Structure – Innocent (click here if video does not play)
‘Caregiver’ is an instrumental track where the most noticeable part is the drumbeats and the guitars in perfect synch; the track develops and takes us to ‘Outlaw’, which is mostly a song comprised by heavy vocals and djenty guitars that might remind us of Meshuggah and even Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine). This song was released as a single and also has a video directed by Igor Omodei – and you can find a reference to the movie “American Beauty” if you watch it. Even if this song and their previous single ‘Innocent’ both feature harsh vocals, both are completely different when it comes to heaviness.
Uneven Structure – Outlaw (click here if video does not play)
‘Explorer’ is born from the final seconds of ‘Outlaw’ and the almost two minutes it lasts makes you feel like you’re floating in the void of space… until it connects to the ship of the ‘Creator’. This song is totally ambient/atmospheric. Clean vocals that reach their climax halfway through the song – yes, a little predictable, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad.
Uneven Structure – Creator (click here if video does not play)
The piano melody is the most distinctive part on the next song, ‘Ruler’, with clean singing parts that also are joined by intricate drum parts played by Arnaud Verrier. A soft guitar solo around the 2:50 minute mark and the drum snare follow a pattern that takes us back to the soft piano melody of the beginning.
‘Jester’ also has that djenty groove and clean vocals that eventually becomes one of the heaviest screams of the whole record. Prepare your ears because the explosion past the 3-minute mark can take you by surprise.
‘Sage’ is the final instrumental track on the album and here you can notice keys that go out of tune, a drumbeat and other ambient sounds that take us to ‘Lover’. Here is proof that Matthieu Romarin can clearly sing clean, with vocals that perhaps may remind you of Alice in Chains… until the screams tell you otherwise: he’s someone developing his own voice and style.
Finally, ‘Everyman’, is pure power from the start. Screams from the very beginning. Pounding guitars, drums and bass. The only clean vocals we find are in the chorus, a very catchy rhythm that could easily be part of any mainstream rock song… with the contrast of the raw screams.
Uneven Structure – Everyman (click here if video does not play)
Uneven Structure are a band you must have on your radar. This third studio album is a departure from their previous efforts and it’s at least deserving of a listen.