Figures deploy a clutch of earth-shattering riffs in this exclusive playthrough premiere

Aussie five-piece Figures are no newcomers to the Brisbane alt-metal scene, dominating stages and releasing two earth-shattering EPs and one single over the last six years. However, 2020 perhaps sees the band's greatest milestone yet, as they gear up to release their highly anticipated debut album Operating in Unsafe Mode, which drops tomorrow, July 17.

Two singles have been released thus far - Underpaid Machinery and Someone Uninvited - and if they're any indication of what to expect from the rest of the album, it seems we're in for a metal masterclass.

Guitarists Paul Callow and Josh Gibson join us to deliver a visually stunning playthrough of the former, showcasing its heavier-than-hell riffwork, earworm melodies and refreshingly interpreted post-hardcore influence. Trading octaves and motifs throughout, the guitar duo's chemistry is plain to see.

Gibson wields a Schecter KM-7 7-string electric guitar, while Callow's weapon of choice is a PRS SE SVN. Each guitar's factory-installed pickups are replaced with a set of Bare Knuckle Juggernaut humbuckers. Strings used come by way of D'Addario XL 10-52s, with a .068 gauge for the low string. The track is played in Eb standard tuning, with the low string tuned a tone down to Ab. Each guitar runs through an instance of the Neural DSP Fortin Nameless Suite digital amp modeler.

We took a minimalistic approach to writing the guitar parts for this record," the band say. "Instead of having defined lead and rhythm guitars the whole way, both guitars often played the same role. We often doubled heavy riffs and tried to bring out the harmony of chord progressions by using different triads or octaves."

Figures' debut album Operating in Unsafe Mode is out July 17.

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.