Toundra – “IV” (Superball Music)
Another one of these post rock bands with deep concepts behind their material but instead of names give their albums numbers, these Spaniards are one of the most prominent underground bands around having been active in their scene for the past seven years. With their predecessor album dealing with darkness and death, “IV” heads more into the environmental arena telling the story of two foxes that need to escape from a huge forest fire which is naturally a metaphor for the band’s concern with how humanity is destroying the environment. Despite being purely instrumental, Toundra’s remarkable musicianship is nothing short of superb in conveying both the atmosphere as well as expressing the underlying emotions in their compositions so it’s little wonder they don’t miss a singer because in reality, their perfected sound doesn’t actually need one. Through songs like the violent ‘Qarqom’ we sense the impending doom and then the cataclysm of the approaching fire as the foxes’ world comes to an end, prompting a desperate race for survival in ‘Belenos’ before the hopeful ‘Viesca’ graced by its cellos and horns heralds a new beginning as life begins anew once more. The twin guitar work of David López and Esteban Giron is nothing short of astounding in the way they work off each in bringing to life the merciless mayhem invoked by humanity on lesser creatures while also shining illuminating melodies in providing optimism that whatever the chaos, nature somehow always finds a way to heal and move on in the never ending cycle of life. With Alberto Tocados’s deep strummed bass providing excellent backing both for that bigger sound while adding thoughtful bass runs during the more tranquil and ambient moments, Alex Pérez doubles up his drum work making it sound at times like an orchestra is hammering away with huge drums and crashing cymbals everywhere! Toundra may not have a front man, but with this kind of musicianship and material there is no way you’ll ever get bored at one of their gigs!!