Formed 2010 in Reykjavik, Kontinuum set out to release hypnotic and spiritual musical noise, and over the course of the last two albums, they’ve largely succeeded. However with third album No Need to Reason (Season of Mist) they’ve set out to tone down the noise part and have come back with a much more refined sound. From the first album Earth Blood Magic (Candlelight) and an upbeat and eclectic mix of post-rock and dreamwave influences to the more epic sounding, Sólstafir worship of Kyrr (Candlelight) they’ve clearly been a band not afraid to experiment with their sound.
No Need To Reason takes the previously hinted at post-punk influences of the likes of Bauhaus and Interpol and brings them to the fore, especially on tracks like the poppy opener ‘Shivers’ and the eighties swagger of ‘Lifelust’, which delivers a bombastic dream-pop style that, in the stifling heat of summer, feels like a breath of cool Icelandic air.
By track three, ‘Warm Blood’, we’re heading back to more familiar post-rock territory. One stand out track, ‘Neuron’, is a mournful Gothic-tinged blend of dream-pop and post-rock, which undulates with a smooth sensuality and a raw emotional charge that hits home on many levels at once, and yet seems to do so effortlessly. The title track is, honestly, just a beautifully crafted track, the musical equivalent of a long, relaxing, exhale.
‘Erotica’ brings the post-punk influences to the fore again, before shifting into another standout track in the form of the lush sounding, musical journey that is ‘Stargaze’. ‘Two Moons’ is, tonally, reminiscent of God Is An Astronaut, yet manages to remain firmly as an exquisite piece of shoegaze, before the album finishes with ‘Black Feather’, which manages to encapsulate all of the elements of the album in a neat black-wrapped Gothic package.
All in, No Need To Reason is a much more subtle and crafted album than expected, and, at face value, it is easily their more accessible album to date. Yet the minimalist style is elegant and refined, packed with many subtle layers which add twists and nuance, enough to reward the listener even after many a listen. Quite possibly this might put off those who were expecting the band to continue the style of their first albums, however, it’s more than worth putting the time into the album.