It seems like Talons have been away for a long time; it’s been four years since they’ve released anything. New Topographics is their second full-length album, following on from Hollow Realm.
Immediately you’re dropped into the middle of a Talons terrority. Opening track ‘Monuments’ is eight minutes long, but you hardly notice. Talons take your hand, and lead you along a dark path as the song builds, similar to Waking Aida or Godspeed! You Black Emperor. Whilst the opening two tracks aren’t bad ‘Lunar Gloss’ is where the album really kicks off. Staccato guitar forces you to pay attention, as the other instruments join in, and the song gets a lot heavier.
Despite some moments that you can only describe as ‘metalcore’, the band do well to avoid the traps which befall bands like Rolo Tomassi, and keep the song coherent. Even though the songs are inherently dark and noisy, you can hear all of the individual instruments clearly, all to Talons’ credit.
The album goes from strength to strength. ‘The Wild Places’ and ‘Stay Cold’ are slow songs perfectly placed to give you a short break from the mayhem of ‘Rituals’ and ‘The Dreams Have No Dream’. Showcasing Talons’ ability to select a great song order is final song ‘Petrovice’. It works as microcosm for the whole album, as the song passes through various movements to make a fantastic eight minutes.
If you already like Talons then chances are you’ll like this album. However, if this is your first listen then I recommend starting with their earlier material. I definitely I like it, but I find it hard to really recommend it. Similar to 65daysofstatic’s ‘The Destruction of Small Ideas’ I know it’s good, but compared to earlier stuff it’s not as accessible. However, after you’ve listened to Hollow Realm and Commemorations make your way back here, and the album will be so much richer for it.
– Alex Ryan