Structural Disorder

The Edge of Sanity

Written by: BW on 04/02/2014 02:05:32

I went to a concert once (yeah, I know) and it was Dream Theater with Opeth supporting them. Now as much as it had never really entered my mind, after hearing this new album from Structural Disorder I can safely say I now know what would happen if you combined the two of them in some sort of freakish Sci-fi movie styled splicing montage.

From the get-go there are massive lashings of modern prog as well as the occasional hungry gravellings of voice combined with some good vocal work. The great thing though is that they sort of go beyond anything the other two would almost dare to try. I mean I don’t think in all the albums I’ve heard there has been an acoustic guitar and accordion combo following some heavy metal thrashing, but this is a taste of what ”The Edge of Sanity” brings to the table.

”Rebirth” is a heady mix of multiple time signatures, lashings of cymbals and the almost Jekyll and Hyde vocals, swinging from normal singing to monstrous screams. It’s something I’m not quite used to from a prog stance, as even Dream Theater don’t go down to that low a range, but in moderation it seems to work, as this song bears testament to. There’s also some good keyboard work and nice solo styled riffs in tow as well.

The show of how varied and diverse the album is, is that ”Peace of Mind” is almost like a song put in to catch your breath from the opening barrage of guitars. Again if you are a supporter of the style you know that this is a staple part of albums like this, but again I’ve never heard accordions in there, but it does fit in nicely.

Once you’ve been fed and watered you get thrust back into the lions den with ”The Longing and the Chokehold” which has your heavier metal prog intro, with keyboard undertones, big snares and fiddly guitar sections, closely followed by a nice blend. What is nice to see on display are the different time signatures working well. Late on in the song things slow right down for a nice 20 second spell before speeding back up again and it’s always been this uncertainty on first listens that keep fans captivated.

A couple of stand out tracks are ”Funeral Bells” with some nice stop start chords and some really sassy cymbal work and ”But a Painting” which is a really simple, but well executed instrumental number and shows off the collective efforts of the band.

I do like what I hear on ”The Edge of Sanity” but it isn’t without some issues. I think some of the vocal work needs to be thought about a little more, as some of the high end feels forced too much and the low end can be excessive at times, and when you hear what can be done in tracks like ”Pale Dressed Masses” it certainly makes me wonder how some of the other songs in the album would have sounded done with a different vocal blend. I’m not saying do away with it as such, but I think maybe a little less in one area and a little more in others would make quite a difference. Looking at the title track proves my point, as it has a great blend of harmony, standard vocal and some high end work, which is the highlight of the album for me.

There is promise in Structural Disorder, I’m certain of that. It is a good crack at their first album and it satisfies all the criteria that a prog rock album should. With a little bit of tinkering and some experience under the belt they could well be a band to watch. The instrumental stuff is typically experimental for the genre and shows they like what they do. Just get that vocal balance right and who knows where they could go?


Download: Funeral Bells, But a Painting, The Edge of Sanity
For The Fans Of: Dreamtheater, Opeth, Porcupine Tree, Tesseract

Release Date 04.02.2014

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