Biffy Clyro

Sonisphere: Rocking all over Europe

Seven countries in 10 days. "Exhausting" sums up following the world's only touring music festival, Sonisphere. So far I've travelled with it from Turkey, up through Eastern Europe, into Croatia and Slovenia, Italy and Switzerland. I've clocked up 5,000km on the car, passed through four countries in one day and slept in a Swiss barn. I am on first name terms with border guards and a reluctant expert on Euro motorway cuisine.

Album: Biffy Clyro, Only Revolutions (14th Floor)

The progress of Ayrshire prog-metal trio Biffy Clyro demonstrates again that, outside of the short-term imperatives of Cowellised talent-show pop, the best way for a proper rock band to develop is through faith and persistence, rather than coaching and consultancy. Together since 1995, they've persevered through years of solo gigs and well-chosen support slots, building up a solid fanbase which finally expanded to chart-bothering proportions in 2007 with their fourth album Puzzle. It's an object lesson in self-determination akin to the success of Muse, with whom they share an affection for pungent riffs and quirky lyrical themes. Biffy Clyro favour the kind of abstruse non sequiturs that leave one scratching one's head. But the drift is clear: Only Revolutions is packed with violent imagery – lots of hits, bruises, shots, burns and blood, and even a track titled "Booooom, Blast & Ruin". Elsewhere, big metaphors – God and Satan, mountains and oceans - abound, decked out in suitably grandiose, constantly gear-changing pomp-metal riffs, fattened in some case with fanfaring horns or underscored with strings. The exception is the oddly-titled "Many Of Horror", an understated love song and obvious single-in-waiting; but the standout track is surely "Bubbles", to which a guesting Josh Homme brings a touch of Queens Of The Stone Age.

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