March 18 2016 (Matador)
Words: Alison Mack
HÆLOS expertly deliver their electro noir on this debut full-length. The three Londoners, Lotti Bernardout, Dom Goldsmith and Arthur Delaney, turn out a competent first foray into extended length format, if, one that lacks many big hitters. Although that can't be said of an intro of an Alan Watts sampled speech "The Spectrum of Love", leading into 'Pray' which fuses synths and drums perfectly together as a backdrop to the silky smooth vocals and is undoubtedly their most notable tracks and a highlight here.
On the dark foreboding throb of 'Dust' and the title track's five-minute excursion we see how well the trio's ethereal vocals blend together with muted beats to make for something hypnotic and spine-tingling. From here, however, they become submerged in their chilled-out detachment with the Chemical Brothers styled 'Oracle' and the lost love lament of 'Cloud Nine" both mournful and melancholic, though 'Earth Not Above' does veer from the formula with a resounding drum break and a lush swell of strings, before closer 'Pale' hits the synths into dancefloor territory.
HÆLOS show on 'Full Circle' how ably they have cornered the market on moody, cinematically-styled electronic soundscapes, and with a little variation on the theme there's no reason not to inspect them to reach similar heights to the likes of Massive Attack and Portishead, the outfits whose influences can be felt on this work.