‘Oooh yeah’ quoth Sel Balamir through the wah-licks and bass-pounding grooves of Black Rainbow. It’s a sign that Amplifier had fun making Mystoria. After mammoth double-album Octopus they deserved it.
With ex-Oceansize guitarist Steve Durose settled in, and 14 or so years of innovative nu-prog activity, they’ve hit a new stride as songwriters. Amplifier were always interesting – on Mystoria they evolve into the interesting rock band you really like.
Yes, they swirl complex drums, tempo changes, electro flashes and odd proggy colours into their template, but the overwhelming impression is: ‘Fuck me, this is a fabulous rock record!’. From the Muse-meets-Star Trek opening of Magic Carpet to the mystical edges of OMG, it’s a triumph of first-rate tunes and satisfying progressive rock.