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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