After the critically acclaimed success of 2011’s ‘My Head is an Animal’, Of Monsters and Men return older, wiser and a little more somber with ‘Beneath the Sky’.
With many second albums and as the name suggests, this time round the Icelandic five-piece are peeling back the layers and digging deep. Opener, and first release from the album, Crystals, is a sparkler and sets the tone for the proceedings. The once folksy Little Talks type jaunts that we’ve been accustomed to, give way to something more mature.
It’s a much darker journey of exploration – faces are taken off and tongues are pulled out on the album’s quieter moment Organs, while on the standout track you’re quite literally taken into the I Of the Storm.
Against the new mystery and depth, Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir and Ragnar “Raggi” Þórhallsson remain incredible as ever. On Empire their vocals are heightened, refined, if anything, and it’s quite simply one of the best pairings since wine and cheese.
While the album is missing those foot-stomping, tambourine-tapping anthems, ‘Beneath the Sky’ has delivered on the acoustics. Rick Costey produced the album so it’s no surprise that it has a kind of Muse-y feel to it. Electric guitars build up and replace some of the strings on Hunger while the drums in Human crescendo and erupt like steamy geysers.
‘Beneath the Sky’ is accomplished, there’s no doubt in that, and it’s Of Monsters and Men’s modesty that should continue to propel them above the clouds.
‘Beneath the Sky’ is out now on Republic Records
You can see ‘Of Monsters And Men’ live at one of the following venues…