Review Summary: NYOS prove themselves yet again to be a strong contender in the worlds of math rock, post rock, and progressive instrumental music, without sacrificing their affinity for drone music and draining every last drop from their drum heavy, loop driven roots.
When first hearing Finland based math rock/noise rock project NYOS, their attention to wringing every dynamic out from telepathic textures and dexterous drum patterns becomes immediately apparent. On their new album, "Now.", the two-piece take the same ponderous, meditative approach, but produce a focused, high energy journey of a record that covers more ground than anything they've done before.
The band dips slightly further into Russian Circles territory, with stark, purposeful production and looming drones sequences. Casual listeners may find this flavor of math rock jarring or even uneventful, but experimental post-rockers or fans of instrumental music will be able to latch on to NYOS' endearing, enigmatic personality; it just requires a longer attention span. With lighter, airier moments on songs like "Urgence" and "Zebracazebra" providing a sense of joviality and fun counterbalanced with heavily distorted breaks, both songs maintain a grinding pace while exploring every boundary they can concieve. Think a slightly more punishing, raw version of And So I Watch You From Afar or Giraffes? Giraffes! with more drones in the mix.
"Tiglio" brings some fantastic percussion to the table to break up the trance-inducing build towards the end, before unapologetically launching into the heavy, bizarre, and almost Mars Volta styled "Mutante," which is one of several opportunities NYOS gives the listener to infer how much fun this band has making music together. "Death Star" is a pensive, slow-burn of emotion into a shuddering, chug-laden end a la Deftones or Mastodon, and possibly the best showcase of what the group can do overall. As the record concludes with "Aveiro," the tracks light, breathy synth drone becomes a cycle of release, diffusing the pressure built throughout the album throughout with its simplicity.
NYOS prove themselves yet again to be a strong contender in the worlds of math rock, post rock, and progressive instrumental music, without sacrificing their affinity for drone music and draining every last drop from their drum heavy, loop driven roots.