The first album from Death in Vegas in seven years, Trans-Love Energies, is at its best when it's instrumental: 'Drone Reich', a quite brilliant track, beats anything else it has to offer. The sweet, fuzzy sustained notes of its keyboard move rapidly, seamlessly and quietly from high to low, from distorted to undistorted, from fragmented to uniform, and the results – though you have to listen hard to this one – are spectacular. Ambient and moody, it's a little bit like a more pleasing version of a La Monte Young piece, and the American minimalist composer can definitely be felt: this track might be a very distant cousin of his 'Raga for Ravi'. 'Drone Reich' is a very sophisticated and very subtle track that could work as the musical accompaniment to the utopian panorama of a science fiction film, and three and a half minutes in, when the notes start to divide up into chugging quarter-notes, and then speed up as the drones double again and start playing two octaves, it's truly gorgeous.

Unfortunately though, it's the shortest track on the album, and one of only two instrumental tracks; a genuine shame, given that the second best on the album is the other instrumental work, 'Savage Love', which closes the record.

And that track really haunts. A group of much compressed, effect-laden vocals hum and moan over an industrial, metallic drum in the style of Einstürzende Neubauten; a windy sounding synth flows through things, quietly. When they give way, it's to an incredibly sweet synth which harmonises notes in one of those “i've heard this before” chord progressions, cycling through its three constructions in a more unconventional rhythm than other parts of the album.

The track moves on and on in that way, developing: those humming, chanting vocals seem to circle around the chords like birds, coming in and out, and the rumbling ambient sound that joins them is indistinguishable. It gives way to a fast, tom-tom beat, some incredibly distorted guitar chords – and suddenly all that circling is displaced by a driving forward of each instrument, in keeping with those three chords.

It's wonderful, it's post-rock: it's a brilliant finish to an album, and it would represent a fitting end to a near-perfect project if the rest of the album were like these two tracks.

Unfortunately, it isn't. That's not to say that Trans-Love Energies doesn't have other good tracks: it really does, from first to last. Opener 'Silver Time Machines', which begins with an ominous and slow, single note bassline which really puts the bass in in the concept of bass, is a gloriously moody and incredibly strong opener, and taken alone it's a subtle track which delves into a final minute of well layered combinations of ukulele, electronics, and synths. But it joins at the hip with second track 'Black Hole', which begins with the crescendo that on most ten track albums would usually close the first track. Here though, things meld like movements of a long orchestral score, and there's definitely a commonality with these two songs and 'Savage Love' and 'Drone Reich'.

In fact, there genuinely isn't a bad track on the album: 'Witch Dance', which begins with a similar bass sound to 'Silver time Machine', though ending on a major tone, is made all the better for the inclusion of Austra's Katie Stelmanis, and it too joins with the track which follows it, segueing into 'Scissors', similar in tone to Thom Yorke's 'Atoms for Peace'.

Through all of these songs there is a genuine coherence: the theme, generally, is subtlety, is moodiness; and Richard Fearless' often whispered vocals are a delight. It has the darkness that a lot of reverb, often some delay, and electronic beats and watery synths can bring. All of these tracks could be listened to in a room with the light off, on headphones, as twilight turns slowly into night.

And Trans-Love Energies really does evoke an imagery; it's rare that albums have the strength to do so. It's testament to the fact that this is a very, very good album: a considered, thoughtful, and emotional piece of work.

But it lacks a little coherence. In fact, if the album had consisted only of the tracks already mentioned, you'd have a better body of work, on the whole, because Trans-Love Energies would work better as two EPs than one LP. After all, the remaining tracks – 'Medication, 'Colum', 'Lightning Bolt' and 'Your Loft My Acid' – have plenty in common with each other, but much less with the tracks discussed here, and it does an injustice to both sets of songs that each is devalued by its muddling in with the other. 'Your Loft My Acid', for example, should be one of the highlights of the album but it loses its quality in relation to what's around it. Over seven minutes long, it shifts through so many different sounds – even perhaps three separate movements – that it simply feels at odds with the kind of work being done so excellently on things like 'Drone Reich'.

But for all that, Trans-Love Energies is a very, very good album. It was just nearly brilliant.