Biffy Clyro records, by their own admission, work in 3's. Trilogy's of albums that have allowed the band to nurture their song writing as well as please their explorative tendencies. So far we have been treated to 2 sets of trilogy's, both done with the same producer for all 3 records.
The first 3, a mixture of prog rock with elements of post punk helped the band gain an early hardcore following. The 2nd, which took a more simplistic (compared to the first 3) approach saw the band gain a mainstream following which culminated in 2013's Double Album 'Opposites'. A number 1 album, headline sets at Reading & Leeds and T in The Park followed as the band had reached the heights they had suggested they always could.
Even in Simon Neil's own admission, they couldn't top that record with another huge sounding well produced rock record. So the 3rd instalment in Biffy's trilogy's was always going to be an interesting one.
What are the results?! I hear you cry ... "Ellipsis" on the whole sounds like a band looking to take this ship in a slightly north western direction, instead of turning it a full 360 degrees. Songs like 'Wolves of Winter' and 'On A Bang' sound like they could be slotted straight into any of the previous 3 albums whilst tracks like 'In the Name of the Wee Man' nod towards the earlier records.
Where it's gets interesting is on tracks like 'Friends & Enemies' and 'Re-arrange' where Biffy play with samples and trap beats for the first time. Neil's vocals keep it 'Biffy' but we are treated to a new side to the 3 piece which we haven't seen before.
'Animal Style' is right up there with Biffy's best, it's everything we have come to love them for, amazing riffs, lyrics & song writing. Even 'Medicine' is a worthy contributor to their collection of modern ballads alongside the likes of 'Machines' and 'God and Satan'.
There are a couple of tracks which really test you as a listener like 'Small Wishes' which is a total curve ball from the rest of the album, as well as 'Flammable' which has an undeniable funk to it.
Overall Ellipsis is a very promising start to the next trilogy of albums ... We look forward to what's to come.
Biffy Clyro - Ellipsis
Out of 10: 9/10