The problem with most subgenres is that the flow of inspiration slows when it becomes stodgy with mediocre mimics and a paucity of fresh ideas.
NSEHG could easily have been tech metal also-rans: the futuristic djent-isms of debut album Age Of Sedation slotted comfortably into a scene-friendly pigeonhole, and yet there has always been something a little sharper and classier than average about this virtuoso four-piece. Their second album doesn’t exactly obliterate that earlier, safer formula, but these songs are manifestly more memorable and sophisticated than their predecessors. Vocalist James Denton does frequently switch to a guttural bark and it’s undeniable that this will appeal mostly to fans coming to prog from metal, rather than vice versa, as a result. But where NSEHG buck the trend is in the underlying grandeur and lightly-worn intricacy of everything here: If Only To Fall, an obvious highlight, is a thrilling blur of melodic extremity, Dream Theater pomp and post-hardcore bellowing, all glued together by a huge, radio-friendly chorus. One or two brief retreats into sugary metalcore territory aside, Endless Disconnect is an assured and substantial stride forward for one of UK prog metal’s brightest hopes.