Needless to say, when Biffy Clyro were putting the finishing touches to their eighth album at the start of 2020, they couldn’t have dreamed of the version of the world it’d be released into. A record loosely based around - as the title infers - the idea that the world we once knew has ended, and we’ve moved into a new era of uncertainty, it’s an album that unsurprisingly comes imbued with the sense of creeping darkness we’re now familiar with. “I poke at my eyes just to prove they’re no longer worthless / All I see is black / There’s no brightness coming back” goes the opening refrain of the tremendous ‘North of No South’, giving a swift glimpse into the Scottish trio’s psyche this time around. As Biffy-ish as ever, with its cranked-up guitars and stadium-sized hooks, it’s also a deliciously unusual listen, shifting gears from the dub-flecked ‘Instant History’ to the unhinged scorcher of ‘Cop Syrup’. And while ‘A Celebration of Endings’ does explore the current frustrations felt by the band, both political and personal (“We’re fighting an ugly war / And it’s no good to freak out,” sings Simon Neil on ‘Weird Leisure’) it also offers up a brand of gut-wrenching, defiant hope. “I’ve been saved from the darkest place / I’ve embraced the need to live,” the band rally together on its final track, proving there’s still a light at the end of the tunnel.
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