The name of the record label that James Holden runs is quite telling; 'border community' implies that he operates on the fringe, and he certainly seemed intent on pushing past his own limits on his debut album, The Idiots are Winning, regardless of how it was received. Holden makes music primarily for himself, but the slew of acclaim that rightfully followed his debut album means that there's a wider audience waiting, watching and hoping this time around.

That album was compared to Boards of Canada's Music Has the Right to Children debut, so it's perhaps ironic that Holden and the reclusive Scottish duo are both returning around the same time, and both after a seven-year hiatus. It is there that the comparisons end, however - in contrast to Tomorrow's Harvest being dark and unsettling, Holden's comeback album is richly melodic and inviting. The Inheritors builds on his remarkable debut - it's even more ambitious in scope, grabbing the listener by the throat and refusing to let go; a 75-minute epic that works incredibly well as an album.

In its creator's own words, his second album is "an old-fashioned idealistic version of what an album is." Ideas pinball off each other, resulting in 15 very different tracks which nonetheless add up to showcase Holden's talent in spectacular fashion. Lead single 'Renata' is a gigantic six-minute trip, establishing its stuttering synth melody before before cutting loose with savage beats and a triumphant feel.

One wouldn't think it would work well alongside 'The Caterpillar's Intervention' - a track which suggests Battles' 'Atlas' gone electro-folk, with some free-form sax noodling over the top - but it does, brilliantly; and therein lies Holden's greatest strength. While his knack for unconventional melodies remains intact, he's twisted them into something bold yet simultaneously accessible. 'Gone Feral' sets bracing noise and a sense of wild abandon (very much in keeping with its title) against a persistent melody, locked in battle with the track's more ferocious instincts for much of six bracing minutes before finally winning out.

In stark contrast to its predecessor, the title track doesn't need to fight to ensure its melody is heard, its pure and strangely beautiful hook among the most captivating moments on the album. There's precious little let-up throughout; even 'Some Respite' doesn't offer much of a break, ironically enough, tension bubbling beneath the glitchy, waltzing melody that constantly threatens to come rushing to the surface, but never does.

That overspill of emotion is left to penultimate track 'Blackpool Late Eighties', which goes in hard over eight-and-a-half blissed-out yet full-on minutes, bringing the album to a cinematic climax before the gorgeously understated closer 'Self-Playing Schmaltz' brings things to their natural conclusion; a world away from the majestic highs Holden hits on the likes of 'Sky Burial' and '||: A Circle Inside A Circle Inside :||', it leaves the comedown until the very last moment, but by then, the listener will surely have been sufficiently moved to want to start the album again and hear 'Rannoch Dawn' click and whirr into life.

The journey that The Inheritors invites you on is a trip you'll want to take many times over. It sounds like Holden won't just be catering to a 'border community' for much longer.