Toundra - IV

(CD 2015, 51:23, Superball Music)

The tracks:
  1- Strelka(7:49)
  2- Qarqom(9:38)
  3- Lluvia(4:54)
  4- Belenos(7:23)
  5- Viesca(4:35)
  6- Kitsune(8:17)
  7- MRWING(2:17)
  8- Oro Rojo(6:31)

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Toundra are an experimental rock band from Madrid that have grown into one of the most exciting rock acts in Spain, capable of selling out venues in cities like Madrid, Barcelona and Santiago, and impressing crowds at all of the major Spanish festivals. They formed in 2007 and swiftly put out their first album, I, in 2008. Their talent immediately garnered attention from fans around the globe and the record was subsequently released in Germany, France and Brazil. Their second album II came out in 2010 and marked a definitive step forward in the development of the band's sound, opening their music to a much wider variety of influences from all corners of the globe and garnering acclaim from critics and fans alike. III, their darkest effort to date, was released in 2012 and cemented Toundra as one of the most promising acts in the current modern rock music scene as well as seeing them sign to Superball/Century Media. It also saw the playing to more people across Europe, as they performed shows in Germany, Benelux, France and Russia.

And now we come to their fourth album imaginatively called IV. It is an instrumental concept album about two foxes who have to flee a burning forest. For the band this is a metaphor for their concern with how humanity is destroying the environment and how dangerous humans can be.

The album has a nice tight sound to it. There are lots of nice clean guitar sounds mixed in with some heavier distorted elements. The twin guitars of David López and Esteban Giron weave in and out of the eight tracks on offer here. An instrumental album has to hold the listeners attention as there are no lyrics to concentrate on. This album does that for the most part although on occasion there are some self indulgent moments but there are also some really nice moments like on Viesca where violins add to the mix. It all gets a bit frantic towards the end but I suppose that is in keeping with the story.

If you like instrumental guitar drum and bass albums then you will enjoy this. For me it had some nice ideas but not enough to want me to go back again and again.

**+ Dave Smith

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