Amplifier's Mystoria is a triumph of first-rate tunes and satisfying prog

Mancunian nu-proggers rock out for fifth LP.

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‘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.

Polly Glass
Deputy Editor, Classic Rock

Polly is deputy editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she writes and commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage), and has interviewed rock's biggest and newest names. She also contributes to Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. Elsewhere she's had work published in The Musician, delicious. magazine (opens in new tab) and others, and written biographies for various album campaigns. In a previous life as a women's magazine junior she interviewed Tracey Emin and Lily James – and wangled Rival Sons into the arts pages. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.