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