Album review: blanket – Modern Escapism

Brilliant Blackpool post-metallers blanket crest over oceans of emotion on captivating second album, Modern Escapism.

Album review: blanket – Modern Escapism
Sam Law

It’s hard not to imagine Blackpool quartet blanket staring out from their crumbling hometown across the crashing blue-greys of the Irish sea as they wrought superb second album Modern Escapism into life. Moving on from where they left off with 2018’s enthralling debut How To Let Go, their surging post-rock has been swollen by more complex shoegaze textures, and heightened by gnarled metallic blasts that detonate like waves against the shoreline. They swirl together to fill each of these 11 widescreen compositions with higher drama and more nuanced detail than ever before.

Yes, the titular concept grapples with ideas of everyday disconnection, the hollowness of social media, and the perils of falling too far into a voyeuristic void. But it is testament to the abstract excellence of tracks like White Noise and Romance that they could as easily be the soundtrack to a ship caught in a storm as that of some tortured soul lost in the battery-powered dead light of their laptop screen.

The Last Days Of The Blue Blood Harvest sublimates socio-political fury into a menacing five-and-a-half minute sprawl, walking a tightrope between ecstasy and mania. Where The Light Takes Us offers glimmering hope on the horizon, then snatches it away in a snarl of razorblade six-strings. In Awe, featuring Loathe frontman Kadeem France, unfolds as a spectacular high-point, evoking the Liverpool boys’ blend of woozy atmospherics and concrete heaviosity, while slotting perfectly into this record’s broader whole.

For the uninitiated, there are few concessions here. Although it has an almost neo-classical command of skeletal melody and full-bodied atmosphere, there is a tension throughout Modern Escapism that keeps it feeling uncannily on-edge, like the best of latter-day Nine Inch Nails, or 65daysofstatic at their most darkly dystopian. When release finally comes, in the closing movement of Last Light, however, it feels like a cataclysmic catharsis. A spine-tingling showcase of purpose, patience and vision from one of Brit-rock’s most talented outfits willing to play the long game – and win.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: Loathe, Deafheaven, Slowdive

Modern Escapism is released on October 8 via Music For Nations

Check out more:

The best of Kerrang! delivered straight to your inbox three times a week. What are you waiting for?