Three years after their incendiary debut, ‘Sans Souci’, Brontide are striving for a more mature and focused brand of song-writing. While best known for their doom-peddling brand of instrumental and intensely rhythmic hardcore, the trio have struck above and beyond with this second LP, crafting something both inherently melodic and genre-spanning - and still bookending it with stabs at their familiar intensity.
It’s as striking and irresistible as ever. There are instantly hummable riffs and chord progressions - and there’s a noticeable shift in tone: the songs are more pared-down, and nowhere near as aggressive as expected. ‘Kith and Kin’ even ends with an extended synth breakdown, something obviously indebted to the experimentation on 2012 standalone single, ‘Coloured Tongues’.
It doesn’t take much of a leap to consider ‘Knives’ as something that wouldn’t feel out of place as an ‘OK Computer’-era Radiohead B-side, and then there’s ‘Still Life’ which maintains a folk-inflected approach. Varied, then but no less ambitious or daring. A move which makes complete sense for a band who always seem to be pushing themselves.