NYOS, one of our favorite Finnish exports, have a grip on vivid storytelling that doesn’t come around very often in math rock, let alone instrumental music.
Indeed, even as NYOS reliably lays down chameleonic 15-step loops that weave in and out of doom, post-rock, and experimental prog, their intentions as songwriters remain in focus. This goes doubly for their new record, Waterfall Cave Fantasy, Forever – maybe even triple.
It’s a fancy album title, isn’t it? As wild as it might sound, it actually does function as sort of a functional primer for the record. Check out their latest evolution below.
“Kuusi” and “Follow the Hawk Moth” start things off with the duo’s signature bass-heavy, busy-yet-minimal progressions, but with an urgency we couldn’t have predicted. When we heard “Curiosity” back in 2019, you could tell there was some bubbling energy under the hood, and as the singles came out teasing the release of Celebration, you could tell they were aiming for more. And now, with Waterfall Cave Fantasy, Forever, you can tell the levels are combusting entirely.
Even minimalistic tracks like “Butter” and “Pillow Fight,” which constantly threaten to throw off their precarious dynamics, but never do. Really, they just make every piece bigger, more complex, and more rewarding once it all starts blowing up. For two people, it’s a level of sonic pyrotechnics that defies belief that sort of reminds us of early Lightning Bolt, but with the weirdo-scope of Town Portal. However, things continue to escalate, resulting in the distinctly heavy “There’s A Skeleton Inside Me” and barbaric closer “Kintsugi Lifestyle.”
It’s at this point that it clicks that Waterfall Cave Fantasy, Forever does in fact continue the trajectory of albums like Navigation and Celebration, but with renewed fire. This resurgence doesn’t have to translate to busy-ness though, as NYOS cleverly illustrates with minimalism that is far more slabs of sound than walls of it. This allows for the personal mythology and head-canon of listeners to fill in the gaps, which is the goal of post-rock at large, but it doesn’t always happen when the artists still strive for the obvious in song titles, samples, etc. You won’t see any of that here, but the points come across without a doubt, so don’t be surprised when you find yourself effectively enveloped in this strange, subterranean fantasy. Forever.
It’s crazy to think how long we’ve been watching these guys explore a sound that’s very particular to them – check out an interview we did back in 2019 here if you wanna know some more background about the band and whatnot. Otherwise check the rest of the album out here. Coming up we’ve got Parquet, Seven)Suns, Stress Positions, Native Audio for the next Not Another Fecking Gig Review, and more!