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Valerian Swing - Nights album review

Bold third from Italian math proggers

Making their name with their effervescent second Aurora, Valerian Swing are back and pulling no punches with their third record Nights, a blistering yet complex development of their already dynamic sound.

Though there were electronics on Aurora, this time they’re impossible to ignore. From the huge, bombastic synths at the climax of A Leaf to the harmonised, pitch-garbled vocals on Five Walls and Seven Cliffs, this record finds Valerian Swing embracing that element of their sound more fully than ever before. There’s more of a post-metal influence too; on Seven Cliffs there’s a discernible shade of Russian Circles, albeit presented in major-key clothes. Six Feet meanwhile has something of a Japanese math rock vibe to it at times, and one wonders if a LITE influence perhaps can account for both that and the more frequent use of synthesisers on the record in general. Whether or not there are more vocals overall, it certainly feels like they’re more prominent, and though they’re usually positively laden with effects, it’s still a welcome addition. As a rule, the math and post scenes eschew vocals a bit too readily, and for this reason if nothing else it helps Valerian Swing stand out.