For a band that has been fully formed for the best part of three years, and an act that has taken most of the UK's venues by storm with their arduous tour schedule, it seems strange that it is only now that Brontide are releasing their long-awaited debut album. With only a handful of demos and a three-track self-titled EP to their name and placed alongside their collection of past and present bands – Pictures, La Roux and I Was A Cub Scout amongst them – Brontide have been simmering beneath the underground instrumental scene since their inception in 2008, and have built up a vast army of admirers based on their energetic, frantic live shows alone.

You only have to witness Brontide live once in order to be familiar with the band's onstage sense of urgency and raging rapport. Instrumental and vocal-less, a Brontide show is one that combines intensity and the members' collective showmanship with lashings of loops and creative flare. Luckily for Brontide, and indeed for their fans, this intense energy has been successfully captured by the band on record and through its pivotal production the individual brilliance of each musician is demonstrated perfectly. Sans Souci may have been a long time coming, but its cutting, continuous flow of instrumental punches are both arresting and astounding, and completely capture the clamour of the live shows that have instilled and retained interest around the band.

Like their Holy Roar Records peers and alumni before them – think Rolo Tomassi, Maths and Shapes – Brontide succeed in welding the brutal with the beautiful and therefore creating an album complete with rhythmic and melodic twists and turns that surround your ears and keep you guessing what’s going to come next. Take 'Limehouse Ink' and its consequent drum solo merging into 'Jura'. What begins as soft layers of interchanging repetition soon identifies itself to be a mask for the heavier elements to come later in the songs. Meanwhile clocking in at just over three-minutes ‘Bespoke’ is by far the album’s shortest track, and wastes absolutely no time in establishing itself with ripples of riffs and guttural gradual break-downs, concurrently differentiating itself with its comparative shortness and continual momentum.

Brontide may be an instrumental band, but there’s not the faintest trace of post-rock progression about them. What Brontide create is a series of intelligent instrumental interludes, channelling the ferocity, delicacy and structural bending akin to that of Adebisi Shank and Battles rather than the progressive build-ups of strings and keys like 65daysofstatic and Yndi Halda. Brontide remains the perfect middle ground of everything the three members have created in the past; a cacophonic combination of atmospheric heavy riffs and a pop sense of immediate melody. It therefore seems appropriate then that Sans Souci is in fact one continuous passage of music, with a 55-minute running time that boasts just eight songs, each designed to incorporate new ideas that glide seamlessly into one another.

As such it’s hard to identify and differentiate one song from another, yet ‘Arioso’ is certainly the jewel in the centrepiece of Sans Souci. Comprising of a staggering seven-minute stormer, it’s nothing less than brilliant, densely packed with riffs, wavering beat patterns and textured guitar work, and as with album opener and first single 'Matador' it succeeds in whipping you up into a staggering maelstrom of dense immediacy. It’s evident in these two songs especially that Brontide are at their most powerful when each individual instrument adds a delicate dynamic to the songs, which when brought together simultaneously succeeds in blowing your mind, and your ears.

As title track ‘Sans Souci’ completes the album we are returned to the original opening drones of ‘Matador’s entrance, rounding off the complete chaotic circle experienced over its duration, from the scattergun, yet precise approach to 'Bob Mundun' through to the initial quietude of 'Tenbytwobyfour'. The cyclical nature of Sans Souci ensures that the band demonstrate their ability to create a well-crafted, ongoing entity, yet for all its prominence and focus on the record as a continuous piece of music, it speaks volumes that each and every track on the album can be enjoyed as individual slices of sonance. For those who witnessed Brontide’s non-stop showcase of Sans Souci on their last tour, the committal of these songs to physical format will come alongside a sense of satisfaction that these songs can finally be enjoyed away from a live environment. And if you’re currently unaware of Brontide’s brilliance? It’s probably safe to assume that you shouldn’t be for much longer.

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