It all starts out on such a surge of positivity too, as album opener Come Heroine – a love song, to all intents and purposes – heaps praise on his partner for supporting and bringing him down from the ‘peaks of blue’. Even then, though, self-doubt exposes his flaws and how he’s ‘prone to resist what is best’. That forensic self-examination (and often flagellation) continues throughout, and although the settings and contexts change, what once was blue has now become speckled, shaded and many-hued.
Equally, this is the band’s most engaging and expansive musical outing to date. Pairing with the notoriously testing Ross Robinson (Slipknot, Korn, At The Drive-In) on production is a bold move, but where it might have been a disaster had they opted for mere power and noise without nuance, it serves as a masterstroke. Instead, sounds breathe, keyboards come to the fore, guitarist Nick Steinhardt steps up on multiple songs with gorgeous pedal steel flourishes, and it all works in a way that, in theory, shouldn't. In practice, Touché Amoré are stretching themselves, leaving their comfort zone and finding avenues of expression that could add another decade onto their lifespan in a way that simply keeping it ‘post-hardcore’ never would. That’s not to say the record lacks the band’s characteristic abrasive impact, but these songs manage to combine the best of what they do while introducing some fresh tints to the palette.