I first discovered Black Market Serotonin when they released their EP, DeadByFiveOClock, back in 2011. Their theatricality was instantly appealing: the word 'epic' seemed purpose-designed to describe their massive-sounding rock music. Now, two years after they popped up on my radar, they have returned with a new album, Something from Nothing, and I find myself just as excited as when I first discovered the Manchester threesome.
It’s quite a majestic record. Riffs and solos ooze out of the deliciously thick guitars, while a powerhouse rhythm section and sweeping synths bind everything together. This is an unashamedly full-on rock album, scattered with hints of prog and post-rock throughout.
Instrumental Singularity is a sublime opener that grows and grows before DeadByFiveOClock and The End of History follow suit, both previously heard on the band’s last EP. Each song is more epic than the last, allowing the album to progress to ever-dizzier heights.
Hard-hitting free single Irons In The Sky appears next, before Purity provides a mid-album reprieve. While it has its heavier moments, for the most part it’s a twinkly balladic number that balances the album nicely.
Then comes Something from Nothing, Pts. I-V which could well be an album in itself. Undoubtedly the highlight of the record, it is a stunning display of musicianship and song-writing ability. At over 22 minutes, it’s a beast of a track that evolves with every twist and turn. Full of wonderful juxtapositions, it’s sometimes loud and heavy, sometimes soft and lilting; it’s filled with incredible complexity and beautiful simplicity. It’s a truly immersive experience.
The album closes with EP track Hours and, while it has a tough act to follow, it really holds its own. As an acoustic guitar appears amongst rainfall, it completely changes the pace of the album. It’s a trick that prog masters Pink Floyd used to great effect, and so too do Black Market Serotonin. Ending with a soaring, whistle-along conclusion, it’s a fittingly rousing end to a hugely impressive, and impressively huge, album.
If you’re after a mammoth slab of beefy, melodic prog-fuelled rock, then you could do a lot worse than picking up Black Market Serotonin’s latest offering. In fact, you’d struggle to do better.
Something from Nothing by Black Market Serotonin is out on the 22nd of April 2013 via Superstar Destroyer Records.