Even though instrumental prog rock metal is a specialist genre of music, when this Auckland trio released their 2009 debut, Vilayer, they were the finest exponents of it on the planet. It was a monumental and thrilling slab of sound.
Follow-up Saansilo is different. Often, the seven songs - clocking in at just over 40 minutes - sound sedate in comparison to Vilayer. But though it lacks the intoxicating power and full-tilt onslaught of the first record, it is more dramatic, with the emphasis on texture and subtleties. So it takes deeper listening rather than packing an immediate, almighty wallop like Vilayer did. Songs like Onyxia, which starts off with a lovely wooziness akin to Radiohead's Everything in Its Right Place before deft beats and a swirling cacophony of guitars take hold, seep inside you and percolate, and Kept From The Brilliance Of The Outer World is temperamental, as it moves from an ambient lull into grinding grooves, and then back into plucked harmonics a la the Battles, only more beautiful rather than chaotic.
Most beastly of all is By the Throats, which intensifies as it slowly puts its foot down on your windpipe, and the stomping and murky multi-part opener A Ways To Uprise. But Bloodlines is different again with its opening Kraftwerk-style noodlings and pulse, and the spectral shoegaze of Halls To Wherever is Kerretta's stadium rock moment (until it gives way to outbursts of savage, mangled riffs that is). This is a dynamic and potent grower.
Verdict: More refined but still heavy second from local instrumental trio
Buy this album here.