Nero releases a 12-track theatrical tale of love and loss and a powerful contender for album of the year in Between II Worlds, the UK trio’s second studio album.
Nero recently shared their plans to make their stadium-bound, electronic-as-rock configuration official, and just like that move, the band’s sophomore album is a thoroughly planned-out affair from an act looking not to compete, but to rise above–an ideology we can embrace thoroughly. They detailed their goals for the LP to Rolling Stone.
“We wanted to write an album that pushed past genre boundaries — we just started with the aim of being completely free about the kind of tracks that would make up the collection. As we did that, the scope widened. But we also wanted to retain the soundtrack, journey feel of the first album.”
And what a journey it is. Introducing the six all-new new Nero tracks on Between II Worlds.
We’re treated to the first taste of brand-new Nero in Circles, an undulating vocal strutter with techno influence and a namesake cyclical rhythm. The album’s lead track holds off on some of the sonic acrobatics present in the balance of the album to allow room for frontwoman Alana Watson to acquaint herself with her audience.
‘It Comes And It Goes’
It Comes And It Goes follows The Thrill at #3 with pulsating waves of synth over a subdued dubstep rhythm with extra space for Watson to really open up. Its spacious nature and enormous gaps give it the feel of an early interlude in their electronic-rock opera, but they can’t all be the best, and this one simply underwhelms on the whole.
‘What Does Love Mean’
What Does Love Mean sees the story escalate under the sound of the haunting titular question echoing across a cinematic production as Watson chronicles two lovers’ leap of faith–simultaneously fearless and terrified, but together. Touching imagery from a recently cemented threesome who has never needed anyone but each other on their road to stardom.
‘Into The Night’
Track #7 is a relatively mellow male-female duet over a clean batch of bright, punchy electro house. One of the more carefree items on the album, Into The Night hides a delicious miniature vocal clip, chopped, pitched, and tucked away among the lush surges of synth. Again, nothing overly groundbreaking, but imbued with an unmistakable Nero quality nonetheless.
Tonight serves as somewhat of a B-side to The Thrill, sporting a similar structure to the latter, also cradling the croons of the angelic Watson between rising and falling tides of the guys’ gritty, guitar-laced brand of dubstep. This one will especially please fans longing for classic Nero.
The album’s final track sees the album take a sharp final turn from the tense, high-energy balance of the album and into a beautiful, piano-driven song of heartbreak, progressing naturally from the many tales of conflict that precede it and adding to the album’s theme of exploring the darker, more painful facets of love.
Between II Worlds is the best demonstration to date of Nero’s ability to craft songs as opposed to tracks, which will come in handy as they continue to help define live electronic music as we know it today. Pick it up from Beatport here.