Structure unveils its first EP.
Created in 2021 in the Netherlands by Bram Bijlhout (guitar/composition, Grafjammer, live for The 11th Hour, ex-Officium Triste), the project announces the release of Structure in 2022, on Brutal Insanity Records then Ardua Music, accompanied by Pim Blankenstein (Officium Triste, The 11th Hour) on vocals.
The sound gradually starts on Remain Faithless by drowning us under heavy sounds before letting melancholic riffs crush us. Melodies easily wrap us while vocals strengthen the oppression along with the throbbing dissonance, then Lost unveils a slightly softer hypnotic universe, letting leads bring a bewitching touch to the slow pace. Vocals’ raw tones develop a seizing intensity before the rhythmic builds up, finally giving way to And They Remembered which soothes the atmosphere with its introduction. The rhythmic is adorned again with this suffocating saturation as well as the massive vocal parts which perfectly blend with this crushing and soaring instrumental, but the musician will give way to softness again to drive us to As I Take What Is Mine, a darker composition which does not forget to leave a place to dissonance. The haunting and ghostly sounds wrap us again in their dark and sad place before letting soothing tones welcome Catatonic, a short last instrumental composition accompanied by orchestrations and some vocal samples to feed the cold atmosphere.
With Structure, everything is done to flood us with melancholy. Whether Structure’s slow and oppressive riffs perfectly respect Melodic Doom/Death’s codes, one will also note this persistent but majestic darkness.
Few questions with Bram Bijlhout, renowned guitarist and founder of the Atmospheric Doom/Death Metal project Structure.
Hello and first of all, thank you very much for your time! Could you please introduce yourself and the band Structure without using the usual “Metal” labels?
Bram Bijlhout: Hi, my name is Bram Bijlhout, I am from the Netherlands. I used to play guitar in bands like Officium Triste and The 11th Hour. I have been absent from music for some years but during the pandemic I started writing again and decided to do this project called Structure.
What is the link between the band’s name and the music you play?
Bram: There is not really a relation between the name and the music. The name is more personal but making music demands certain structures.
Structure, your first EP, is out since few months now. How do you feel about it? What does its name mean?
Bram: Yes it was first released on cassette by Brutal Insanity Records. After that I got in touch with Ardua Music and they wanted to do a cd. Everything was remastered by Greg Chandler (Esoteric) at Priory Recording Studios. I just received the digipak and it will be officially released on the 16th of November. I am very happy with the way it turned out. The band name was chosen for two reasons. I was not in the best place mentally for the last few years and needed a lot of structure in my life. Also every song made is build up following a certain structure. Hence the name Structure.
It is the first studio effort you released since 2013, how does it feel to record something new?
Bram: My last studio effort was with Officium Triste. A band in which I played for quite some time and which I really enjoyed. The reason for departing the band was because I needed some more time for my family and lack of commitment from my side. Recording again, and especially doing everything myself was a learning process that I really enjoyed. I had a lot of ideas that I could work on in my own time.
What inspires you to create your music? Same question for the lyrics.
Bram: Creating music is my way of dealing with my emotions, same for the lyrics. It is the perfect way to deal with all the stress in life. I just love to create. The lyrics deal mostly with my view on life in general and people. It’s an emotional rollercoaster.
Which song means the most to you on Structure? Which one was the hardest one to create?
Bram: It is very hard to choose one song, the EP overall means a lot to me. But I think that As I Take What Is Mine is the one that stands out most to me. It is a very heavy tune with a subtle melodic ending. I think it really represents Structure as a whole.
I know you collaborated and still collaborate with him on other projects, but why did you ask Pim Blankenstein to participate in vocals for your EP?
Bram: Pim is a great friend and there is nobody else that I ever considered. His voice is amazing and suits the music perfectly. I was looking for heavy growls and Pim really delivered.
Do you have plans for the band’s future? Whether it is about live shows, new material, or even anything else.
Bram: I’m already working on new material. I’m looking to release a single in January and then a full album later in 2023. It will be again with Pim on vocals but now with Dirk Bruinenberg (Place Vendome, ex-Elegy, ex-Adagio) on drums. As for live shows, that is not going to happen. Structure will stay a studio project for me.
Are there any musicians or bands you would like to collaborate with? Whether it is for one song, an album…
Bram: As I said I now have Pim Blankenstein and Dirk Bruinenberg on board. So far I have no particular plans to work with anybody else but we will see what the future will bring.
Last question: which bands would you love to tour with? I let you create a tour (or just a single show) with Structure as opener and three other bands!
Bram: While this will never be a reality I will give my preferences. I think it would have to be Structure, Warning, Black Wreath and Shape Of Despair.
That was the last question for me, so thank you very much for your time and your music, last words are yours!
Bram: Thanks for the interview! I hope that everybody that listens to the music will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it. Stay heavy!