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[Review] Figures – ‘Operating In Unsafe Mode’


Review : Benjamin Coe

The Australian heavy music scene has received a massive surge in recent years in not only the sheer volume of bands but also in the quality of said bands. It truly is an exciting time for fans and musicians alike as more and more of these groups are noticed beyond our borders and Australia is becoming a sizeable presence in the global heavy music population. One band at the front of all this is Melbourne five-piece Figures, who are set to this week release their debut album, Operating In Unsafe Mode.

Opening with alternative belter Failure To React, Figures bust out of the gates with crunchy guitars and a solid as fuck rhythm section before vocalist Mark Tronson puts his own unique style on top of it all. The overall sound harkens back to the hey-day of the early 2000’s alt-metal scene and is even more evident on second offering Syntax, which sounds like it was plucked straight out of that era.Everything from the solid riffs that are churned out by guitarists Paul Callow and Josh Gibson to the fast-paced vocal attack of the verses that give way to a soaring sing-along chorus.

Bassist Jen Fletcher matches wits with machine-like drummer Adam Zaffarese to provide an unbreakable backbone for the crushing guitar work and unmistakable melodies produced by the rest of the band. Thunderous numbers such as Someone Uninvited and lead single Underpaid Machineryare shining examples of just how well these guys play together and just how aggressive-yet-catchy this band is.

Another Injustice is yet another fast-paced number that you’d probably be best to avoiding putting on your car stereo lest you end up grossly exceeding the speed limit as you lose yourself in the organized chaos of it’s intricately beautiful structure. By the time the halfway point of the album rolls around, you’ll be gasping for air and the band does well to oblige with a significantly slower and somewhat softer number Inside You’re Alone, which sounds like the bastard child of Karnivooland The Butterfly Effect and brilliantly showcases Tronson’s heightened vocal range.

The group certainly do wear their influences on their sleeve, citing everyone from Deftones to Nine Inch Nails and even Rage Against The Machine, it Is evidently clear where their passion lies and where they drag up such a punishing sound from all the while adding their own brand of prog-tinged heaviness to the mix. The second half of the album is a testament to this starting with alt-metal banger Force Feeding which then gives way to the NIN-esque Matrix Love.

Closing out with the one-two punch of The Circle Bends and album closer Pedestals, Figures prove time and time again across this release that they are a force to be reckoned with and here for not only a good time but a long time too.


Figures' debut album 'Operating in Unsafe Mode' will be released on Friday July 17th. Pre-Orders are live now at http://figuresband.com/.



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