Album Reviews

Structural Disorder- Distance

Hey there fellow music lovers, long time no see. Life has been busy for me, but part of my New Year’s resolutions is to get back into what has given me so much joy these past years, writing for Lady Obscure Music Magazine. The sheer pleasure of uncovering that rare gem of an obscure band is one beyond measure, and though the senior editorial reigns have been deservedly passed onto our esteemed Honey Badger, I still need my fix. I need that electric tingle running from my ears to the deepest depths of me as new sounds caress my ears. So let’s do this thing, once more, you and me? Sound good? Good…

Today’s band is one that I had the pleasure of reviewing a little under two years ago, Structural Disorder. Coming out of Stockholm, Sweden, this quintet of progressive metallers made a solid impression on me with their debut album, The Edge of Insanity, so it was with little hesitation that I took this one up when it came across the desks of Lady Obscure. The band consists of bassist Erik Arko, guitarist/vocalist Markus Talth, drummer Kalle Bjork, guitarist/vocalist Hjalmar Birgersson, and vocalist/accordionist Johannes West. The fact that these guys had the chutzpah to put an accordion into progressive metal is enough to get you to hit play at least once, and I feel once is all you will need. This band is impressive, both in instrumental skill and songwriting.

Distance consist of seven tracks varying in length and style. They paint with many sonic brushes on this album, and all strokes are skilled. They jump right into it on Desert Rain, with a distinct Oriental metal vibe delivered by said accordion. Thumping bass and trilling arpeggios from the guitars set the stage for the soft toned lead vocals that really slide in and out of the complex music. The song is mysteriously romantic, but still has some authority to it. Someone to Save is a bit more straightforward prog metal, with some brilliant instrumental work bridging the lyrical passages. Though it approaches nine minutes in length, it really doesn’t seem it as they keep the song (and all the others) fresh and moving.

For Silence, they dig into a darker side both lyrically and musically, and hit it pretty good. The ending of this one is especially stunning as the instrumental and vocal parts pair off perfectly.  The Herculean Tree opens up much more upbeat, and is a solid track all around. The long track on the album, Pyrene, comes in at a hair under eleven minutes, and is a complex and convoluted display, really putting the prog into prog metal, a stunning all around track. The album closes with Drifting, and it’s a suitable closer with a soulful beginning that builds into an epic sounding finish.

It’s a pleasure to see Structural Disorder follow up their debut with such a solid album, it’s a delight to see they managed to significantly grow musically in the process, a credit to true artist. The shortcomings on this album are few and far between, and I would suggest any fan of good prog or prog metal to give these guys a spin.

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