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Toundra: IV

Spanish instrumental post-rockers turn up the heat

After three years, Spain’s genre-dodging instrumentalists return with their fourth and finest outing yet. With IV, Toundra have composed a captivating concept album centred around the story of two foxes fleeing a burning forest – an unsparing allegorical condemnation of environmental desecration.

As the story unfolds, moods and tempos shift from the lush texturing of opener Strelka toward the panicky abandon of Qarqom, plunging headlong into the echoey, melodic cascades of Lluvia.

Strings, keys and even some well-placed horns create spacious atmospherics, but this release is anything but a rote exercise in misty-eyed shoegazing; IV showcases enough bludgeoning grooves and fuck-off crescendos to give any decent speaker a run for its money.

Finale Oro Rojo is a sprawling six-minute epic bursting with galloping polyrhythms, a dizzying volley of speed-picking and shimmery melodies that arch with breathtaking elegance. IV is an instant classic./o:p

Hailing from San Diego, California, Joe Daly is an award-winning music journalist with over thirty years experience. Since 2010, Joe has been a regular contributor for Metal Hammer, penning cover features, news stories, album reviews and other content. Joe also writes for Classic Rock, Bass Player, Men’s Health and Outburn magazines. He has served as Music Editor for several online outlets and he has been a contributor for SPIN, the BBC and a frequent guest on several podcasts. When he’s not serenading his neighbours with black metal, Joe enjoys playing hockey, beating on his bass and fawning over his dogs.