Hiatus yields little novelty
Seven years after their last album, Massive Attack's release of Heligoland comes with an indisputable sense of occasion. But the album could struggle to find fans - unless established supporters are satisfied with a lack of progress.
The depth shown on previous albums like Mezzanine, their 1998 album which is largely viewed as their best, seems to be absent here, although some may argue the group is exploring uncharted territory. But the incorporation of experimental ambient layers of sound in addition to the industrial tones which the group have long used makes this collection seem less novel.
But the album does contain some great songs: some irresistibly energetic, while the tracks with guest artists give the album colour.
The overall mood is mellow, peaceful and pensive, especially in psychedelic ending to first track Pray For Rain, and the solemn, rumbling jazz elements of fourth track, Girl I Love You.
Tracks like Flat of The Blade carry on the dense sonic landscapes heard in 100th Window, while parts of Paradise Circus are reminiscent of Mezzanine.
Heligoland is splendid if you like what Massive Attack has done on preview albums - relaxed rhythms and trademark vocal stylings. But if you seek innovation, you won't find it here.