Biffy Clyro — A Celebration Of Endings — Album Review

Image for post
Image for post

Rock | Alternative

Listen on Spotify | Listen on Apple Music

Biffy Clyro have been a band that I have known and loved for quite some time now. I first started really listening to their music around the time when their 2013 album Opposites was their latest. But after seeing their epic headline performance at 2016’s Reading Festival, that was the moment where my love towards the band fully ignited.

As a result, I began picking out my favourite tracks from the likes of 2016’s Ellipsis, and 2010’s Only Revolutions, which was where I discovered what is arguably my favourite Clyro track “Bubbles”.

Along with this, I also know Biffy Clyro as one of the very last music artists which had an album cover created by one of my favourite visual artists of all time, Storm Thorgerson, and as a result, the band hold a somewhat special place in my heart. But despite all this love I am giving the Kilmarnock three-piece, A Celebration Of Endings stands as the very first album that I had critically listened too.

I believe that out of all of the albums out in August, A Celebration Of Endings became the one I was probably anticipating the most, after the COVID delay on its initial release date. The teaser tracks really pointed me towards believing that this would be the kind of festive and dynamic energy, that I feel many people need with the lack of a festival season this year.

And indeed, this album truly delivers on that aspect. The kind of atmosphere that the overall album gives off, makes me feel as if I’m back in 2016, facing towards the Reading Festival main stage on that warm Sunday night.

Aside from all of the teaser tracks that took me by storm, there are many strong numbers that served as brand new listens. In fact, there are so many tracks on this album that were equally epic, that I believe this album to be the hardest to pick three favourite track from, out of any album released this year.

Although, there were still a fair few tracks on this new album, that didn’t quite live up to the dynamic festivity of the majority of A Celebration Of Endings. For example, I guess I should begin with the unpopular opinion that the album’s earliest teaser track “Instant History” is glaringly underwhelming in comparison to the albums overall tone. Even with the revamped album version, the issue still stands where the verses progress into what is a slightly shallow-sounding chorus with not enough oomf for me.

I would, however, say that the biggest offender on this album would have to be the albums unsatisfying conclusion that was “Cop Syrup”. The way that this track started actually had me thinking that it’d be another banger admittedly. But with the juxtaposing atmospheres, not very immersive lyrics, and overly lengthy runtime ended what was an amazing album on a very sour tone, which is the biggest issue for me. Ironic that an album titled A Celebration Of Endings, had such an unenjoyable one.

But that aside, I also cannot ignore just how plentiful the amazing tracks on this thing are, which do everything and more to counterbalance the odd final track. I also felt that the likes of the second track, “The Champ” would’ve given this album one of the most awesome intros on a 2020 album. But I digress; the albums true opener “North Of No South” is also an incredible way to kick the album off.

Both “End Of”, “Tiny Indoor Fireworks”, and “Weird Leisure” do an absolutely wonderful job of capturing that Biffy Clyro aesthetic that fans know and love. Another track that does this well is “The Pink Limit”, which also feels just whimsical enough to stand out nicely.

And finally, we have the absolutely beautiful slow-burning anthem that is “Space”. And while every Clyro album seems to have that token soft track, this is definitely one of the most enchanting and gorgeously composed.

And lastly, I really love the visual aesthetic behind this album, and feel that it was the kind of aesthetic that Enter Shikari were trying to achieve with their latest album. But unlike Nothing is True & Everything is Possible, Biffy Clyro keep their philosophical and politically charged attitudes musically gnarly enough to retain the core aesthetic that the band had been building upon since 2002.

All in all, A Celebration Of Endings, while not perfect, is still one of the most intricate and enjoyable albums that this month has had to offer so far. And with so many fantastic tracks on this thing, I definitely feel confident that I will still be enjoying it by the time we see next years festival season over the horizon.

Favourite Tracks: North Of No South | Space | End Of

Least Favourite Track: Cop Syrup

14th Floor Records | Warner Music Group

8/10

Written by

My articles mainly revolve around music reviews and analysis. A bit like Anthony Fantano, but just a decade behind.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store