Determined to exorcise the seven deadly sins, Sottish electronic duo Surgyn return with their sophomore full-length album, 'Envy'. Building on the success of their début 'Vanity', which quickly established the band as one of the most exciting electro acts in the UK, Sovereign and Veil have added a lot more to their sonic arsenal for their second outing. There are still the big club-friendly dance tracks that 'Vanity' focussed on, but this time round atmospheres and ambience add more engrossing textures to the fabric of the album, while harsher elements sharpen the attack.
The sinister near half-ebm, half-witch house opener 'Artifice' effectively sets the mood with its spoken vocals and brief beat-heavy interludes. The first song proper, 'Limousine', is Surgyn at their finest mixing strong synth leads and a harsher vocal approach for a strong lead track that will undoubtedly become a highlight of their live sets. 'Green Heart' on the other hand is just as an infectious club anthem, albeit in a way that favours a melancholic synthpop style.
The balance of harsh and melodic elements is a constant theme running through the spine of the album on tracks such as 'Stiletto', 'King Of Crows', 'Insidious', and 'Hollywood Death Scene'. The album has just as much dance potential as its predecessor, but that hasn't stopped the duo from getting nice and experimental in places, particularity on the witch house influenced 'Martyr' which provides an unexpected but very welcome centrepiece to the album and really shows how the band are continuing to push themselves.
This is a wonderfully polished and well executed album. The songs have eclipsed the bands origins and are really beginning to set them apart. The production reflects this in a crisp and modern sound that brings out each of the new elements to the bands sound.
'Envy' is a strong follow-up to the bands exciting début. A diversification in their sound while keeping one foot in club-friendly territory has paid off in a big way. If album number three shows a jump in calibre like 'Envy' has, then Surgyn's future looks set in stone.