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Constructs - Shapes

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 19 November 2017, 12:53 PM

CONSTRUCTS is a three-piece Progressive Metalcore band hailing from San Jose, California that formed in 2015. From their Facebook page, “their name comes from the idea that everything in our reality is in some way, shape, or form, a construct, whether it be thought patterns, society, or the way we interact with each other and the world. The band draws influence from metal titans such as NORTHLANE, PERIPHERY, ANIMALS AS LEADERS, and DREAM THEATER, and is focused on creating a precise, articulate, and stunning live performance.” “Shapes” is their new EP, and contains six tracks.

“Tempest” is a two-minute opening instrumental. It has a Middle Eastern twinge to go along with a technical display of heavy, accented rhythms, with plenty of dissonance. “Atmospheres” is the first proper track. It has a groovy combination of punchy, weighted rhythms and melodic sensibilities. A dazzling array of instrumental dexterity is also on full display here as well. Texture is the best word to describe the track, as it is so alive with angles and directions that you can almost feel it as tactile. “Signals” has a darker sound, and Djents with cadence. I can definitely hear an ANIMALS AS LEADERS influence here but they have their own personality at the same time. The pig squeals are almost a “must” in this style of music, but thankfully not overdone.

“Event Horizon” uses a variety of techniques and sounds to build layers that seem to climb endlessly. Unlike the previous tracks, there is a linear line of melody from lead guitar that you can taste. Lick your chops to savor it. But that gloom still permeates the sound overall, like a sign of something lurking out there. “Fractures” is bold on both melody and substantiality, sounding like how the undulating waves in the ocean can be a transcending experience but can crush you with their fury at the same time. “Drift” is the seven-minute closer. It opens softly and auspiciously, but soon gives way to some punchy accents from guitar, bass and drums, working together as one, like a hydraulic press of efficiency. Heavy dissonance is once again on full display. Sometimes the complexity of their shifting reminds me of trying to compute higher math algorithms.

Overall, CONTRUCTS have done a nice job establishing themselves in the Progressive/Metalcore instrumental niche that has grown considerably lately. While much of the sound is cold and sterile as it should be, there are moments of melody that warm you effectively. Personally, I would have liked to have heard a little more of this warmth, but these are solid compositions that show an intelligent sense of creativity and songwriting.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Tempest
2. Atmospheres
3. Signals
4. Event Horizon
5. Fractures
6. Drift
Trayen Burke - Guitars
Gordo Leete - Bass
Dennis Willoner – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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