Biffy Clyro
A Celebration of Endings


2.4
average

Review

by Simon K. STAFF
August 15th, 2020 | 73 replies


Release Date: 08/14/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Messy and convoluted, but it could have been a lot worse.

Ahhh Biffy Clyro. You know, there was once a time when this band had a bright future ahead of itself. The majority of the noughties-era documented a vibrant hunger coming from this Scottish three-piece; their influences were hardly ambiguous and they’ve never been particularly original in practice, yet, in spite of the derivative shortcomings, their execution always brought some semblance of distinction and individualism to the band’s sound. At times Biffy Clyro’s earlier works exhumed a raw immediacy now long lost in the ether – envisaging their own brand of groove-laden alt-rock tunes and eventually forming the apex of that concept by the time Puzzle had arrived at the gates. Post-Puzzle however, Biffy Clyro have been on the decline, shuffling from album to album using fleeting aspirations and a scattershot of arbitrary ideas and styles to make consecutively disjointed records – A Celebration of Endings being no exception to the rule either. While Biffy Clyro have never quite attained the same creative glories as Muse, they seem to be following in their current footsteps of throwing anything at the wall and hoping it sticks. Recent years have seen Simon and co. engulfed in a directionless quest that has stripped away a little bit of their old identity with every passing iteration, and A Celebration of Endings is the most extreme version of that mantra yet.

There’s a great sense of ambition at the heart of this LP – a lot here that should be acknowledged in their attempts – but through all the good intentions, surprisingly, A Celebration of Endings still manages to come across so fervently mind-numbing and bland it’s hard to really gauge how they missed the mark this badly. The tone leaves a lot to be desired, stop-starting from one stylistic chapter after the next in this eleven-track experiment. A prime example of explaining this patchwork job is journeying from the alt-rock, Interpol-heavy riffing of “Weird Leisure” to the tacky “Tiny Indoor Fireworks” with all of its sugary, surface-level pop-punk sensibilities, to then transition into the optimistically decent rock ballad of “Worst Type of Best Possible”. Three very different styles being lumped together, lacking fluidity and cohesion. But even if we don’t focus on the album’s collective flow, the tracks themselves feel half-baked more often than not. “Worst Type of Best Possible” opens up with a red herring of booming and distorted guitar notes before hastily fizzling out with a mainstay of moody ambiences. The track itself is one of the better numbers here, but it’s a contrast that doesn’t quite work as well as it should, and similarly, there are a lot of moments like that which add to A Celebration of Endings’ stubborn approach.

To sum up A Celebration of Endings in a few words would be to say that the album puts a lot of focus on its ballads, whilst awkwardly trying to amalgamate their MO around that motif. The likes of “Space” and “The Champ” form a weird amalgam with the aforementioned, but it’s more distracting than engaging. Sometimes the experimentation works, “Instant History”’s anthemic chorus and its punchy electronics bring a Linkin Park, A Thousand Suns vibe to the table, but the banal verses still manage to hinder the piquing potential. At this point, I can’t say A Celebration of Endings’ quality is an unexpected surprise, as I’ve not really enjoyed an album from Biffy Clyro since Puzzle. If you’ve managed to enjoy all of their works up to this point, I’m sure you’ll find something worthwhile here. Ultimately though, my criticisms fall on the directionless tone, clunky songwriting, and the substantial lack of their hard rock roots. What you’re left with here is a rather vanilla rock album with an overindulgence on ballads, whilst spray firing a number of jarring sub-genres into the mix in the hope it’ll form something new and interesting out of it all.

FORMAT//EDITIONS:
CD//DIGITAL//VINYL

PACKAGING:
N/A

SPECIAL EDITION BONUSES:
N/A

ALBUM STREAM//PURCHASE:
https://store.biffyclyro.com/uk/



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user ratings (76)
3.3
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Moderator
August 15th 2020


35856 Comments


Good review. I had a feeling this might be a bit of a let down.

Digging: Deftones - Ohms

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2020


16576 Comments

Album Rating: 2.4

thanks sow. yeah, it's a very disjointed album. couple of okay moments, but it's a bland rock album overall

Digging: Marilyn Manson - We Are Chaos

qwenta
August 15th 2020


589 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Another Biffy album with the same critic lol bands are expected to make the same album all their life? This album is a solid 4 at least. Only a couple not so good tracks and some top all time biffy ones.

Biffy quality has never gone down (Hi Muse)and it's the best alt-rock band out there for years.

Digging: Pain of Salvation - Panther

Sinternet
August 15th 2020


23020 Comments


no but they're expected not to phone it in every fucking time, so much of their recent stuff is boring laddish alt rock shite pandering to the lowest common denominator, when they started as an interesting and unique post-hardcore band

they've just been lazy for way too long, sure they haven't gotten as bad as fucking Muse (massively low bar) but you'd expect the band that came out with albums like The Vertigo of Bliss and Puzzle to at least try

qwenta
August 15th 2020


589 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

If you only like their 5 post-hardcore tunes, good for you. After their 3 first albums (each with their bside album with great great tracks) they've continued to release genius alt-rock music. Only revolutions is perfect. Puzzle, opposites and the last OST are all great. Their Bsides are great too.



But saying this album is bad because they don't repeat the style you like is nosense.

Pheromone
August 15th 2020


8245 Comments


the intro is laughable

Digging: The Growlers - Hung at Heart

JesusCage
August 15th 2020


399 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great tunes here!

AxeToFall93
August 15th 2020


216 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This feels like a big step up from their last stinker.

Flugmorph
August 15th 2020


23084 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

cop syrup tho

Groundking
August 15th 2020


1486 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

This is a massive step up from Ellipsis for me.

Cop Syrup, The Pink Limit, End Of and Weird Liesure are all fantastic.

Space is crap though

Crawl
August 15th 2020


2697 Comments


I don't enjoy Biffy as much as I used to, but I agree, this is definitely a step up from the poor Ellipsis.

Flugmorph
August 15th 2020


23084 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

After first listen I can already say that I really like whats presented here.

Observer
Emeritus
August 15th 2020


8424 Comments


Band should have stuck to what they were doing on Puzzle and just fine-tuned it from there.

Digging: Inanna - Transfigured in a Thousand Delusions

porcupinetheater
August 15th 2020


3644 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Does anything here match up to Wee Man?

BigPleb
August 15th 2020


61423 Comments


Band has been on the decline for a while now, shame.

Digging: Napalm Death - Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism

Flugmorph
August 15th 2020


23084 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

look at all the sheep blindly following a review score *snicker*

Flugmorph
August 15th 2020


23084 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@porcupinetheater not quite, wee man is singular. however, if you know about any bonus tracks from this album do contact me my love

GhostB1rd
August 16th 2020


6753 Comments


End Of was the best thing here. Overall very disappointing, so of course Metacritic "professional reviewers" think it's gold.

GhostB1rd
August 16th 2020


6753 Comments


Also sint's right they massively fell off a cliff from their early quality.

proton165
August 16th 2020


10 Comments


Album is much better than the review.

Digging: Everything Everything - RE-ANIMATOR



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