black midi - 'Cavalcade'

7/10

Exploding onto the scene with their breakthrough debut album 'Schlagenheim' in 2019, black midi established themselves as one of the most unique and hard-to-comprehend names emerging at the time. While numerous accolades and praise were thrown their way throughout those initial months, the band were treated as the marmite of new music, with just as many finding them hard to stomach as those lauding them as the best thing since sliced bread. And now after a couple of years to get used to their place in the soundscape, they return with their sophomore effort 'Cavalcade', a record that looks to double down on their distinct direction.

While many noted the strong jazz influences the band pursued on 'Schlagenheim', this time around sees those inspirations rounded off and deliver a far more accessible collection that is more about impressing the listener than making a bold statement. From the start, 'Cavalcade' is taking the feel of their initial offering and creating something that entices as easily as it spellbinds. The broad and cacophonous cuts act as the benchmarks for them to explore more atmospheric intentions and ideas, giving this return a far more diverse and eclectic texture than we were expecting.

Although the buzz that surrounding their first LP would have been hard to live up to, 'Cavalcade' does an excellent job at measuring their audiences expectations, and delivers something that will please both their devout fanbase and newer listeners throughout. A confident comeback that continues their legacy as one of the most contentious acts out there.

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