NORDIC GI­ANTS

Am­plify Hu­man Vi­bra­tion Ks­cope Masked prog­gers’ pow­er­ful sec­ond, sound­track­ing a tit­u­lar doc­u­men­tary.

Prog - - Limelight -

nordic Gi­ants have long been a cap­ti­vat­ing live band, but have never com­pletely chan­nelled their vis­ceral stage per­for­mances onto a rep­re­sen­ta­tive stu­dio record­ing. With Am­plify Hu­man Vi­bra­tion, a study of “hu­man spirit”, they have per­haps fi­nally suc­ceeded. Pow­er­fully moody, there’s also gen­tle, up­lift­ing tri­umph in tracks like First Light Of Dawn. In­ter­est­ingly, the song also some­what re­calls the first al­bum by Pub­lic Ser­vice Broad­cast­ing, a sonic ref­er­ence to be found many times on this record. While Dystopia has a hint of mid-ca­reer Maybeshewill, Spirit has a sound more uniquely Nordic Gi­ants’ own, with sear­ing lead parts con­trasted against warm, cin­e­matic washes of back­ing chords and a bril­liantly per­cus­sive cli­max. At this point, the use of some­what prim vo­cal sam­ples to add grav­ity to tracks has be­come some­what out of favour in the post-rock scene, and that’s the only point on which the Gi­ants stum­ble. Some heavy-handed sam­ple use might de­tract from what would oth­er­wise be po­tent in­stru­men­tals need­ing a lit­tle more mys­tery wo­ven into their fab­ric, but post-rock is a med­i­ta­tive form, and the hu­man voice drags the lis­tener out of their reverie all too of­ten dur­ing the run­ning length of this re­lease. aL

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