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Structural Disorder - Distance CD (album) cover


Structural Disorder


Progressive Metal

4.00 | 14 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars For the latter half of this year I have had the pleasure of finally reaching the point in my prog explorations where I can buy a good number of new releases. Since becoming a member on ProgArchives a few years ago, I have spent most of my time and money on becoming acquainted with progressive rock of the last 45 years. I hardly ever bought anything the year it was released, and of the top albums of year, I usually scooped a few the following year. But this year has been different, and I have not only ordered albums on their release date or soon after, but also pre-ordered some and, as in the case of Structural Disorder's new album, "Distance", I backed a couple of albums with KickStarter and PledgeMusic.

Backing bands like this was a new concept for me. I hesitated to spend money on supporting a band who were trying to fund their own album, wondering what would happen if they didn't meet their goal. But after hearing a song by Structural Disorder featuring their lead accordion played like a synthesizer(!), I decided to give my support. And I even got my name mentioned in the CD credits!

So what of this band and their second album release? At first, I simply enjoyed listening to the album once through. But by the second time, I was starting to make comparisons: Haken, Dream Theater, White Willow. These are interesting comparisons to make because they draw attention to the band's prog metal style, which resembles Dream Theater in some of the complex instrumental passages, but also Haken for the vocal harmonies and some of the more quirky parts. Structural Disorder do slow and beautiful really well too, and because of this acoustic guitar and piano inclusion in their sound, White Willow came to mind, especially in the track "Silence". The band's PA profile also mentions Pain of Salvation, Porcupine Tree, Beardfish and others. Basically, the music does a good job of heavy, covers good prog territory, isn't afraid of going slow, and makes good use of synthesizers in a heavy neo- prog kind of way. Or is it that electric accordion?

Though four members are credited with vocals, I understand that Markus Talth is the lead vocalist. His voice is clean and has a sound that contributes emotion to the songs. He sings rather well, and it's my personal observation that generally prog metal bands have better results with vocalists than other types of prog rock, namely because metal requires more power from the lead vocalist's voice.

The accordion is used very sensibly here. As another reviewer mentioned, it could be tempting to give the accordion lots of limelight and go nutso on the solos; however, the band have employed the accordion more for subtle atmosphere, as in "Silence", or for a well-placed solo with an exotic sound, as in "Someone to Save". In other places, we hear what sounds like a usual synthesizer to my ears. Keyboards are mentioned in the instrument line- up, but I wonder how much of the synthesizer sounds are actually the electric accordion. I wondered if the nature of the instrument would allow for some different synth effects but I'm afraid I cannot detect them. No matter because the solos sound great whether played on a traditional synthesizer keyboard or electric accordion.

Without going into further detail about the individual songs, I can say that I really enjoy this album throughout. There is skill and variety, it sounds terrific, and there's not a track on here that makes me flinch. Each of the seven tracks are diverse enough to be unpredictable and yet maintain the atmosphere and continuity of the album. I love the cover as well; the contrast of the warm and cool tones attracting my eye. I conclude my review by saying that Structural Disorder have produced a very fine album and it was totally worth backing the band for this production!

FragileKings | 4/5 |


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