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Album Review: Melencolia by Poly-Math

Brighton Math-Prog trio Poly-Math release their new mini album Melencolia on 8th April via Superstar Destroyer Records. Poly-Math probably first came to your attention last year with their phenomenal EP Reptiles, this mini album is the perfect progression. It pushes boundaries and asks questions.

The first question you’ve got to ask is how a mini album differs from an EP? In this case it can’t be the volume of tracks (Melencolia tots up 3) but perhaps the length of the record – totalling around the 25 minute mark it is longer than many full length albums. One full listen of Melencolia though and you’ll have a definitive answer; it lies at the heart of how the album feels and flows. This is a work of art; this isn’t an introduction to a band; this is a band expressing themselves at their very best.

Secondly, and perhaps even more difficult to answer is how to define the sound of Poly-Math. Where Reptiles was a straighter mix of math and post rock, Melencolia feels more like a band that have perfected their sound and built upon that basis and added an extra level of expansiveness and grandeur. Take opener ‘Melencolia I’ where the band admits they “were much less afraid to lean on our prog and post-rock roots than we have been previously”  – blending the progressive complexity with intricate instrumental dynamics that conjure a wonderful landscape that you can’t help but fall in love with. Sure it mightn’t be as instantaneous as some of their previous material, yet it’ll grow on you and engrain itself as an excellent track.

‘Ekerot’ forms a different beast entirely. It feels a little more refined, in turn packing more of a punch. Naturally with crunchier, heavier guitars the track is going to stand out, yet you’ll find that from that heavy outset it’s when the track deconstructs into a quieter, meandering expanse of detailed guitars and reverb that it really takes hold. It’s a joy to behold and only goes to make the crescendo and crushing finale even more impressive. ‘Temptation of the Idler’ hits home on the fact that Poly-Math are something special. It takes all the finest elements of the previous two track and adds a different sense of urgency and immediacy that astound you at every turn.

Melencolia is proof that Poly-Math are fast becoming your essential band math and post rock band. They’ve added a new level of progressiveness to their sound that’s pushed them far beyond the next level. If you thought Reptiles was good, Melencolia will blow you away.

AD Rating 8/10

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