Fontaines DC - 'A Hero's Death'

8/10

Since the release of their highly-praised, Mercury Prize-nominated debut album 'Dogrel' last year, Dublin's Fontaines DC have found themselves as the future of the international post-punk scene. Building up an insatiable following over the last year and discovering more about how they want to sound everyday, the Irish outfit looked to waste no time within the momentum they have built as they return a little more than a year later with their sophomore full-length 'A Hero's Death', a record that looks to build upon the success of their debut while also giving it its own unique direction.

For fans of 'Dogrel', 'A Hero's Death' may come as a bit of a surprise as it starts off. While their initial material was loved for its dark yet powerful aesthetic, the majority of this new collection is more about exploring the darker and more brooding side to their intentions. Less visceral and more atmospheric throughout, this almost feels like a process of instant maturity as they look to see themselves more as innovators within the scene rather than the next name to come along. It almost feels as if they are making themselves work harder for their fans to appreciate them. Rather than knock out another batch of ear-pleasing belters to please the masses, this is about taking the next step, regardless of where it takes them.

Ultimately, 'A Hero's Death' sees the group veer into near-unknown territory, but not too far from their core sound that they can't rein it back into more familiar terrain. While it doesn't have many of the instant gut-punches that 'Dogrel' pulled out, it has a more reassured feel about it, knowing that all those listening are already strapped in and ready for the ride, and pursuing whatever idea best fits them right now.

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