How's about a bit of German art rock then, or a touch of Teutonic progressive? 'In Via' was recorded at Hannover's Institut für Wohklangforschung and is a rich and sophisticated instrumental album that lingers in the foggy badlands between progressive rock and ambience.
'In Via' has a haunting, urban electronic vibe that takes in facets of Floyd and Elbow, mixes them with Coldplay's melancholy and adds a touch of German electronic desolation. Its romantic atmospherics sound big, full and deep with sweeping soundscapes built around huge riffs which are interwoven with gentle moments of stark piano and acoustic guitar, sandwiched between dense strata of ambience. It's equally bold and subtle, bleak and lively. Think Muse or Avantasia without the vocals.
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Essentially contemplative and bludgeoning in equal measure, 'In Via' could be a soundtrack to one of those apocalyptic art house sci-fi movies that come out now and again. With the electronic orchestrations ebbing and flowing with subtle ease, Frames are not afraid to let the atmospherics build naturally. The band has the confidence to let the music sit in its groove and do its thing, allowing moments to linger when most bands would force the music into all sorts of convolutions and contrivances. It is clever stuff but in a restrained confident way suggesting the album does not need to prove anything.
'In Via' is not the unique album some have claimed, especially as it picks up where the debut 'Mosaic' left off, therefore it follows that it has all been done before. Nonetheless it is a fantastic album to have on whilst you are doing something else, offering even the most evangelical rocker a chance to sit and chill a bit without fear of losing cred amongst their peers.