NYOS, Navigation, 29.09.17

Reviewed by Kate Haresnape

Forming in 2014 after a move from Leeds to Finland, NYOS’ third release Navigation is due for public release on the 29th September. Having been mastered by the world-renowned Mandy Parnell (Aphex Twin, Bjork and Sigur Rós) there are somewhat high expectations for the quality of production found in this album. Containing only six tracks the record is short and sweet but packs a definitive punch and is well worth its salt within the instrumental, math-rock canon.

‘Harlem’ gently eases in with ambient sound before crackling into a slow riff that intensifies until eventually releasing into a breaking atmospheric brood that is dotted with one of the album’s catchiest riffs, the song is under laid with heavier tones akin to Pelican and Darkthrone.

‘La Playa’ is lighter, speedier track, punctuated with rhythmic drumming and interspersed with fret board dotting. The result is a significant change in pace from ‘Harlem’ presenting the spectrum of musical ability and working to break up any doom like features that could have worked to fall into a structured expectation for seasoned listeners.

‘Navigator’ begins with breakneck drumming before expanding into a looser bridge section and then tightening up again, it slows down to an almost jazz like break around the three-minute mark as a rhythm is repeated whilst being interspersed with louche sounding chords before quietly ending.

The album’s fourth track ‘Bison’ contains the doomiest riff that pervades throughout the album, guitars build to a crescendo layer before expanding into wider harsh noise. The song slows and quietens around the 1:23 mark before hitting the listener with a riff akin to Unwound if they had perhaps spent the night watching The Wicker Man and popping Valium.

‘I’m a Dream’ has a warmer, chunkier sound not unlike an American Football track and is a welcome change of pace which also works to showcase the duo’s musical range.

‘Navigation’ gives the listener ease of structure by tightening up the duo’s dirge tendencies to a slighter neater formula, whilst also accomplishing a valid effort towards musical experimentation in which Parnell’s effort is duly noted.

5 out of 5