Blueneck – King Nine (Denovali Records)

Blueneck – King Nine (Denovali Records)

Some three years in the making – a process that had actually commenced before the release of their last album, the instrumental soundtrack EpilogueKing Nine sees Blueneck reach a point of musical self-actualisation. The West Country quintet’s fifth album may well deal in lyrical themes of desertion and desolation and come wrapped in wave upon poignant wave of some of the most haunting atmospheric sound that is around, but King Nine has the presence to emerge from this deep slough of despond as a work of tremendous strength and determination.

Despite owing a clear debt to progressive rock music in its widest sense, King Nine is not about the bravura, the baroque or the overly flamboyant gesture often associated with that genre of music. It is a record that creeps up slowly, seducing you by stealth. The dramatic arrangements – song structures that are full of plangent guitars, swirling synths, faux-orchestral sweeps and Duncan Attwood’s forlorn voice – slowly seep into your subconscious with each repeated play.

With its quiet dignity and cautious sense of optimism, opening song ‘Counting Out’ is redolent of some of Elbow’s more soaring, uplifting melodies. And the hypnotic pulse and dramatic ascension of the former GIITTV Track of the Day ‘Sirens’ still has the capacity to move. Yet it is on the penultimate track ‘Mutatis’ where King Nine impresses the most. Nine imperious minutes, into which a phalanx of plaintive horns slowly bleed, before the song rises out of its sorrow and takes the record way beyond the threshold of self-fulfilment.

Rating: ★★★★☆

King Nine was released on 10th November 2014 through Denovali Records


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.