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The Lava Experiments - Blackbody Vol III

With Blackbody Vol III The Lava Experiments appear to consolidate their sound refining the elements that feed into their sound. The songs on Blackbody Vol III are far more guitar oriented more often than not based around familiar quiet to loud structures but The Lava Experiments fills the quieter moments with atmospheric keyboards and lush, melodic vocals. The opening track here, 'Never Been Lost' opens with light keyboards quickly bursting into smooth gliding guitars before falling into light tumbling guitar notes and the wallowing hushed melodic voice of Fraser Rowan, picking up on keyboards layers and cellos bathing the multi-layered vocals before the guitars take flight, once again, to tremendous effect. On the basis of 'Never Been Lost' it's surprising that they're not better known.

The Lava Experiments are by no means generic post-rock, electronic treatments abound within their song structures with guitars that are evocative and ethereal. 'Gas Moth' is quietly evocative and atmospheric with a Japanese narrative couched in shards of ringing guitar notes. Building gradually accompanied by some martial snare rolls it surges, falls away and rebuild. Sombre piano notes and synthetic strings offer a backing to couch Rowan's mournful vocal ache on 'Liquid Pig', before it lunges into surging controlled guitar chords. The electronics that underpin much of Blackbody Vol III come to the fore on 'Autumn Light' with its droning synths and ice-cold electronics. Here though they're joined by chiming guitars and a billowing vocal, catching something of a rhythmic groove before the inevitable blissed-out guitars kick in.

With Blackbody Vol III there's as much emphasis on subtlety as there is on force, and this the third and final piece in the trilogy of Blackbody releases is definitely a highpoint for this Glasgow based trio. For more information go to www.hanamuke.co.uk or www.thelavaexperiments.co.uk