It's been quite a journey for this Aldershot-based band, but it seems that they've finally ended up where they wanted to be in the first place. They released their debut single 2-and-a-half years ago, outlining their varied approach to songwriting through the release of various free singles, went quiet for a while, and re-emerged more confident than ever before. The prog-pop song structures and time-signature manipulation that defined their old sound are present and correct, but in many ways, it feels like Our Lost Infantry have finally arrived. Lead single All the Streetlights of My Hometown surfaced earlier this year, and for all its melodic sharpness and dexterity, sounded like it was part of something bigger. It is - something much bigger. When it comes to The New Art History, context is everything.

This isn't to say that these songs don't work well on their own, because they do, but for everything about this 40-minute, 9-movement 'post-rock opera' to make sense, it needs to be consumed as a whole. Curtain-raiser Kenning opens proceedings in a tense fashion, its twinkling piano line underpinned by chugging guitars and topped off by Thom Ashworth's powerful vocals, before things get going in earnest with the soaring chorus of 'Fearless', a song which moves effortlessly between moods and dynamics; its final chorus, "We dare to dream, at least in silence" builds from a whisper to a scream. There's plenty of room for the piano, too - it drives the sweeping anthemics of 'The Tremors', and the plaintive opening chords of 'Avogadro' meet the listener after 'Streetlights' comes crashing to its conclusion.

From there, things start to move awfully fast - the quartet don't hang about, but pinging musical ideas off each other works better for them now than ever before; 'Meet Your Maker' deals with big themes, so it's appropriate that its musical palette should be broad enough to incorporate a ballad section, some furious riffing and the heaviest music the band have yet written... all in just under 3 minutes. 'The Hollow' is the closest they come to writing a genuine post-rock piece, setting up The New Art History's final 2 songs wonderfully, before 'Howl' and 'Day After Day', both as expansive and hard-hitting as each other, bring things to a close. Stitched together so that it flows from start to finish, the album offers a bewildering number of twists and turns, but everything's shot through with a pop sensibility that makes sure that Our Lost Infantry don't just showcase their ambitious nature for its own sake; the songwriting on offer is top quality, and, when taken as a whole, their debut album reveals itself to be a staggering work.