Album review: X CONTRACT – Territory:Hours

X CONTRACT - Territory:Hours

Phillipa Records [Release date 19.08.13]

Given the Brits love affair with all things Danish after the great success of ‘The Killing’ TV crime series, X Contract should clean up.  We really liked their debut in 2012  – ‘Dearest Dream’ – and the latest offering confirms their melodic and at times mournful attractions.  The band combine dark anthemic choruses with an alt-rock metal vibe fused with prog.  It’s like a poppier version of Katatonia.

The band’s modus operandi is perhaps best illustrated on ‘In The Mist’, the plaintive piano motifs and electro effects enhancing the overall mix before a rousing playout.  This is repeated on tracks like ‘Walk’, ‘All These Lights’ and ‘Too Far’.

On their own, Dennis Pedersen’s fragile vocals might be construed as a little insipid but add in Lars Klit’s angular guitar figures and there is a welcome juxtaposition of the angelic, and the downright meaty.

Overall, perhaps not quite as strong as their impressive debut but impressive nevertheless and a further step on the way to wider recognition, and beyond that initial Danish novelty value. ****

Review by David Randall

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