There comes a time in every (sub)genre’s life when what was once fresh and innovative congeals into cliché. While there are signs it’s happening for sprechgesang, much instrumental rock has been a self-parody for more than a decade. Someone should have told Nordic Giants, who have just released Symbiosis, their third album.
The mysterious masked duo that make up Nordic Giants go under the pseudonyms Loki and Roka, but are less Daft Punks than Deadly Serious Post-Rockers who think nothing of calling a song Spires Of Ascendancy. Symbiosis is a grandiloquent gesture to the gallery, big on bombast and little on genuine emotional resonance (Hjem aside, perhaps). Think Coldplay’s Chris Martin playing sturm und drang piano in between yoga sessions and colonic irrigations. Muse’s Matt Bellamy connecting with the spheres. Motivational quotes in skywriting. Content that seems to have been crafted with Spotify playlistability in mind.
Maybe that’s being too cynical, though. Put me in a darkened room, fill me up with beer and dazzle me with projections, and I’ll probably be proclaiming it to be all kinds of epic.
words BEN WOOLHEAD
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