A strong and varied offering
Anna Smith
14:22 10th August 2020

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Following Download Festival’s 2021 announcement that they’ll be taking the main stage on Saturday night in place of Iron Maiden, there’s been a rush of faceless Twitter bashing around Biffy Clyro’s perceived relevance at this point in time.

Looking at the cold hard facts, they’ve played the metal-loving festival seven times, headlined to almost unanimous success in 2017 and have a new album in the works. Their whole M.O. is field-filling sing-along anthems with a bite. Need we say more? 

As an album title, A Celebration Of Endings feels appropriately timed in a period of longing for new beginnings, return for normality and a general lust for the current Groundhog Day situation to come to an end.  

This Rich Costey-produced album holds a similar optimism, dusted with pop hooks and electronic riffs, with crushingly heavy Blackened Sky-esque moments nestled among safer tracks. Opener ‘North of No South’ eases the offering into existence, a quintessential Biffy number laden with thick Scottish dialect and a gratifying pre-chorus breakdown. 

‘The Champ’ and ‘Weird Leisure’ serve as prosaic buffers before most recent single, ‘Tiny Indoor Fireworks’ serves up a generous dish of arena-level Biffy, with choppy time signature changes and chant-able “Hey, hey, hey” to boot. ‘Worst Type of Best Possible’ and ‘Space’ lull along pleasantly, reminding us of the band's gentler, more melodious side but slightly lacking in discernible character. 

Bringing the album crashing back down from the floaty in-between moments is ‘End Of’, the intoxicatingly powerful second single. Jagged guitar and blistering screams come together over a snappy bassline; it’s imposingly brash in an addictive way. ‘Instant History' also stands tall above the noise with its bizarre merge of their archetypal math-rock elements and a sugary-sweet electronica hook.  

‘The Pink Limit’ would slide right in unnoticed on Only Revolutions, continuing to demonstrate how even the most predictable tracks from the Scottish trio don’t fall far below par. The emotional interlude of ‘Opaque’ leaves the listener sideswiped by the sheer chaos of album closer, ‘Cop Syrup’. At 6:17 long, it’s meticulous but frenzied, truly the crowning opus of the 11 tracks.  

A Celebration Of Endings is a strong but varied offering from the Kilmarnock-hailing group, in which the impressive and accomplished moments heavily outweigh the more undistinguished chunks. 

A Celebration Of Endings is released on 14 August 2020 via Warner Records. 

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