Biffy Clyro - Opposites - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Biffy Clyro - Opposites

by Greg Spencer Rating:9 Release Date:2013-01-28

With 20 songs on Opposites, Biffy Clyro certainly deliver a real money's worth, but the quantity never overrides the quality. This album is full of panache, exuberance and prog-rock beastly intent. It starts slowly and with reflection. Opener 'Different People' has two minutes of down-tempo, thoughtful bliss before we are thrown into expected Biffy territory of fast and melodic riffs interspersed with the magnetic vocals frontman Simon Neil always provides. We only have to wait until subsequent track 'Black Chandelier' before we hear the trademark hard-hitting guitar lines, paralleled by the kind of insanely catchy chorus which continues to make Biffy Clyro accessible to a number of audiences.

There's real honesty in Neil's lyrics too. On 'Opposite', there's a genuine emotional catharsis which runs right the way through while refraining from obvious sentimentality. Anyone who's been through a bad relationship during winter can seriously relate to 'The Thaw'. Once again, we get resonating lyrics and immense vocals which remain gentle yet pull you in. There's never a sense that the album is too long or the material is just filler. The majority of the tracks steady the ship perfectly and the record never feels like it's dragging at any point.

The thing Biffy Clyro have had over the years is that attitude, that ability to be a heavy band at any point. The gripe to be had with this record is that it simply isn't as heavy as certain fans would like and some may complain that its slightly timid in that regard. There are plenty of heavy moments but not really any tracks which throw the indie playbook out the window and just go for it. Although, having done that on previous releases, maybe the band are trying to step away from any metal indiscretions. That said, 'Stingin Belle' promises to be a great addition to live shows with its crunchingly delicious riffs and ear-bending bass.

Once you've got over the fact there isn't as much head-banging material to get to grips with, this album is easy to enjoy as it's simply a band doing what they want, what they love doing which is making seriously brilliant music. Opposites may get criticised for being overly long, experimental or a step away from what hardcore Biffy fans are used to, but it's an important album for one of the UK's most important bands of the last 10 years.

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