Uneven Structure - 'Februus'

Uneven Structure - Februus [Full-length]
October 31, 2011 - Basick Records

So, what do we have here? Oh my, it's the debut LP of French sextet, Uneven Structure, which judging by the preview material promised to blow the minds of even the most skeptical listeners! Let's see if that is really so.

After almost two years since the release of their debut EP '8' we finally have an opportunity to taste the fruits of the band's work, titled 'Februus'. To say that their sound and execution have evolved from the EP would be a big understatement. Transformations are evident both in vocal and instrumental sides of the performance, which cannot but make glad their fans.

'Februus' is a concept release, which revolves around the evolution from nothing to something stable and complete. Finding the essence of oneself is another key idea of the album, which can be seen even through the songs' titles. I reckon attentive listeners who enjoy teasing out the lyrical content and relating it to the music surrounding will have plenty to chew on!

The album starts with a slow ambient build up that brings you into a pensive mood. Then quite suddenly powerful vocals kick in and you find yourself a bit startled; not quite understanding what's going on...hey, wait a minute, this tune sounds familiar, I'd bet my 8-string (if I had one) on it. After checking the track-list all becomes clear: this is 'Awaken', the #1 single off the album, which was chosen for a music video not long ago. What struck me most about this track is unbelievably rich and deep vocals of Matthieu that continues to amaze listener during the whole CD.

'Awaken', without any further formalities, flows into the next song, 'Frost' (my personal favorite), which greets you by a rush of raging cold vocals, which sets the mood of the whole track. The section past 4:30 is absolutely mindblowing. When you hear those ambient tunes your heartbeat as well as breath becomes slower and the whole body is being pierced by an inexplicable feeling of something ethereal. I can't count how many times I've spun that fragment on repeat.

Despite the monolithic structure of the album, where the songs all flow one into another, every track retains its own unique style and has its own story to tell. According to the concept of the CD, tracks can be divided in 3 parts. Emotional 'Hail', together with the two previous tracks build up the overall mood. Thoughtful 'Buds', along with the slightly aggressive 'Awe’, are the ones that can be called culmination of the album, concluding the more dynamic part and giving way to its more tranquil mood. The melancholic 'Quittance', along with 'Plenitude', which passes into 'Finale’, constitute the conclusion of the concept; the finding of oneself.

The strongest point of the album is an unparalleled combination of mellow ambient riffs with the polyrhythmic and polymetric guitar layers. These ambient layers give great substance to the background of the music and add an empyrean feel to the songs.

The album doesn't tire out the listener with a constant barrage of layers and riffs (not that I mind that sort of album) giving the listener a chance to relax and ponder over what they've heard with a pair of short, slow interludes before plunging again into a storming sea of deep musical waves. Those tracks, titled 'Exmersion' and 'Limbo' can be compared to the river crossing, which prepares tired travelers for a continuation of their interesting journey. It is dead easy to lose track of time in this environment of multi-layered djent riffs combined with incredible ambient passages and topped off with dynamic vocals that make the songs simply delectable.

On this bright note I'd like to talk about and name the only shortcoming of the album. Everyone will surely have his own opinion on this matter, but personally I'd like to hear more clean ambient passages, not supported by heavy guitars. In my opinion they add more beauty and contrast to the music, creating unforgettable melodies. However this does not influence the overall impression of the album.

Production-wise the album is flawless. Igor Omodei proves that he is one of the best producers in the game at the moment. The performance is equally as good goes; it's always pleasant to hear nicely composed and executed material.

The second disk of the album is composed of 3 drone ambient tracks, filled with chilling textures and ethereal vocals, which continue the very end of the first CD (track 'Finale'). Perhaps the pure ambiance of CD2 will not appeal to everyone but CD1 contains more enough djenty goodness to satisfy any listener.

To conclude, I'd like to commend the guys on their excellent work, the result of which is one of the main candidates to become the album of the year, at least in the so called "djent-scene". I feel that 'Februus' will make those who claim "djent" to be dull and uncreative to take their words back.

If you are looking for an album, full of catchy, original melodies (which will certainly stuck in your head for long, I promise you that), combined with energetic heaviness, top-notch composition and performance, 'Februus' is definitely for you.


I have no words - album is a greatest ! I listen and listen... listen and listen....
Thank you guys.

has anyone gotten their copy yet?

Really good review. Another great album, cant wait to hear it. This year has had soooooo many good releases.

I have listened to Awaken SO MANY TIMES! I cannot wait for this album to be released.

Thanks for the clarification. That sounds a lot better. 91 minutes of djent seemed a little overkill, anyway. Now I'm interested.

The second disc is full blown drone, clean and luminous, with vocal textures and progressions, not just a synth chord sustained for 30mn Smile

Wondering the same thing, siddha.

Now I'm even more excited -- that ambient second disc sounds great. When you say "drone ambient" do you just mean that it's chill guitar-based music, or are we talking full-on sunn o))) shit? Tongue

stoked for this album!

I have to say I'm disappointed the 3 tracks on the second disc are purely ambient stuff. I certainly expected them to be a lot more relaxed (what, with their average length being 11~ minutes long and the first CD being almost an hour long), but not full blown ambient/drone stuff. Although maybe your description is just throwing me off. I'll have to give it a listen and see.

Good review, nonetheless.

Great review! Can't wait to hear this album.