The evolution of Daniel Avery over the last nine years has largely been an exercise in unerring excellence. After fully shedding his stopmakingme moniker with the release of his much-celebrated debut, Drone Logic, Avery has worked through brutal dungeon techno, drum and bass, drone, acid-dusted beats and ambient over the course of his four solo albums. On the latter, 2021’s Together in Static, he noticeably shifted to the heavier, denser, more ambient noise that also gives Ultra Truth its sonic heft. But where its predecessor felt a little soft around the edges, this fifth album bites.
Opening pair ‘New Faith’ and ‘Ultra Truth’ provide the soft lead with looping, lingering melodies and a massive sense of space before ‘Devotion’ submerges you in layer after layer of hypnotic breaks and static distortion that spiders out like cracks on a frozen lake – dark, deep, billowing sound designed to fill every possible inch. It feels like the selective extraction of almost a decade’s worth of work, Avery mining the dark corridors of his mind, and surfacing from the density with forgotten, foggy hooks. While you can hear and feel the odes to influences such as Deftones, Mogwai and David Lynch, ‘Higher’ is a relentless monster of rising synths, breathless breaks and thunderous energy, and ‘Chaos Energy’ is another full-blown detonation that rides a lava of static and ‘Firestarter’-esque smashes, gnashing and snarling before bursting into a starry end. Avery calls it “a fever dream of a record” and he’s right. It’s also another masterpiece.