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Album Review: Navigation by NYOS

Noisy instrumental duo NYOS release their third album Navigation on 29th September in a collaboration with Meta Matter Records. Hailing from Jyvaskyla, Finland, the band formed 2014 and have touring constantly since mid-2015, taking their (literal) wall of noise out to more than 120 gigs in over 20 countries.

The bands sound is a loop-driven mixture of all things mathy, heavy and emotive, and after self-publishing both 2014’s Vltava and 2016’s follow up, Nature, their third album will be a collaborative release with Karlsruhe-based Meta Matter Records. Recorded and mixed by Tom Brooke from the band and mastered by the world-renowned Mandy Parnell (Bjork, Aphex Twin, Sigur Ros), captures the band moving on from the flowing single-piece format that was found on Vltava and Nature, towards a more varied, dramatic and dynamic sound.

Compared to the first two albums, this feels like more of an accessible release. Having six distinct tracks makes it more accessible and easier to digest. That said each track is a fluid beast, shapeshifting and progressing through, post-rock, math, post-punk, noise rock and post-jazz. Certainly opener ‘Harlem’ takes an approach that marries heavy noise riffs and more serene moments that on first listen is quite the challenge. Give it a bit of time and you’ll fall in love with the contrasting discordant and hypnotic tones.

Navigation really comes into its own in the majestic duo of ‘La Playa’ and the title track ‘Navigation’. The former has some excellent guitar work, again marrying the heavy noise with more ambient moments creating a stark and foreboding atmosphere, whereas the latter relies more on a post-rock structure creating an emotive dynamic that builds towards the wonderful crescendo at the end.

‘Bison’ develops the post-rock tones, teaming it with post-metal riffs and noise rock structures and experimentation. Unsurprisingly ‘I’m A Dream’ takes on a dreamlike quality, that is until the distorted guitars in the third minute turn things dark with a sinister edge. Dream like post-rock tones are restored before the end of the track and it comes out as a strong and commanding track. ‘Icon’ blossoms with its intricate guitars. Soaring riff sweep over the top creating a great and ambitious atmosphere.

AD Rating 7/10

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