Biffy Clyro 'Ellipsis' review

Ahead of their headline slot at Reading and Leeds festival, the Scottish trio return with more gargantuan alt rock anthems on their seventh studio album. Henry Lewis reviews.

Henry Lewis

Last updated: 29th Jul 2016.
Originally published: 8th Jul 2016

Image: Biffy Clyro

With each of their last three releases, Scot rockers Biffy Clyro have made themselves ever more accessible to a wider audience of festival goers and stadium rock enthusiasts.

2007's Puzzle lifted them from the post hardcore obscurity they'd languished in since 2002 and following that the trio have moved mountains musically, firmly cementing themselves as one of the UK's most favoured headline acts. 

Little surprise then that they top the bill at Reading Festival and Leeds Festival this August, and the timely release of their latest record Ellipsis will only bolster their already meaty setlist.

Biffy Clyro tickets

Remarkably it's the band's seventh release, and whilst the eternal debate rages on about how much they appear to have changed, it's further proof that Simon Neil's songwriting Midas touch remains intact.

Devotees to the group's earlier albums will hate the fact that the rough edges seem to have been sanded down, but the crisp production of this record doesn't detract from the songs. 

'Flammable', for example, massively benefits from Rich Costey's skills behind the mixing desk. Then again, he is the man behind Muse's Absolution so this shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. The song's decidedly unorthodox sounding guitar tone drives a groovy track that truly catches fire with the help of three part harmonies and punchy drums.

That's not to say Biffy are a tamed beast. In the likes of opening track 'Wolves of Winter'(listen above) the guitars aren't just heavy, they're fucking heavy and Neil's Celtic roar has by no means been reduced to a whimper.

Similarly, 'Animal Style' is brutally off kilter. Cut to late August and you can already picture the scene; a sweaty, shirtless Simon Neil is nailing its sweary chorus whilst uniting a pissed up festival crowd who are riotously enamoured with their headliner.

Tell me, is there anything tame about that?

Henry Lewis

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