The idea of trilogies is a strange one: were Whirlpool the last in a triptych of films, chances are that most of us would prefer the original. Yet, given that Alex Shields's third album is the closing arc of a narrative that was given life four years ago on Mountain Debris - a story which began in wispy, ethereal fashion and has since taken on a much more corporeal form - the finale of the trilogy is his most-anticipated release yet, and it's one on which he has rung the changes and drafted in members of Ides, Echo Lake and Comanechi to create the 'band' incarnation of A Grave With No Name, once a solo project, but one which has since grown in size and strength, in a number of different ways.

The soaring 'Aurora' serves as the album opener proper after '(Higher)', the first of three interlude pieces, reintroduces us to the world which we last visited on Lower two years ago, and the sort of heady shoegaze realm in which it operates - along with the likes of 'Dig Me Out' - will surely draw comparisons to a certain other Shields, but the AGWNN project has never been too in thrall to its influences, and bruising, My Bloody Valentine-esque walls of sound don't gain much of a foothold as the 14-track album runs its course.

There's as much room for dreamy, semi-acoustic moments like the forlorn-sounding 'Six Months' as there is anything else, and Shields strikes gold when we approach the album's back half and are treated to the fantastic three-song run of ''73', 'Bored Again' and the surprisingly uplifting 'Origami'.

Once a bedroom project, AGWNN has benefited hugely from the move to a recording studio, and Shields has seemingly come out of his shell as a musician - not that he was ever in one in the first place, of course, but the full band behind such stirring songs as 'Steps' and the particularly powerful 'Float' indicate that he is now imbued with confidence.

Its themes of love and loss are nothing new, but what can be discerned of the lyrics strikes the listener as deeply personal. While low-mixed, reverbed vocals offering insight into an artist's most closely-guarded ruminations seems to be the way to go, both Shields's voice and his narrative focus are distinctive. Much more than before, this was the album on which he needed to make a statement, and he has done exactly that.