This album is a strange brew. The guitar playing swerves between delicate ’80s Cure-influenced tendrils and much bolder rock. The next thing you know, they start a song as if they bought the Cocteau Twins lunch, knocked them on the head and stole their sound. Not a criticism, just a reference point, but there is so much more going on here. Established as a four-piece in 2009, Dark Water became this trio in early 2013. Nathan Waipouri on guitar, Merran Dixon on bass and drummer Ross Kilgour together create the dark post-rock driving sound that pervades the album, Waipouri providing the songs and strong lead vocals. I don’t imagine they would consider themselves a metal band, but they certainly move like one. At their heaviest they stylistically resemble a youthful Iron Maiden, and when they break out a technically sophisticated ensemble manoeuvre it’s mind blowing. On the other hand they have a melodic pop/rock sensibility and seem to be able to shift gears back to the heavy stuff at will. All this versatility isn’t a hindrance to the cohesiveness of the album – which was recorded at New Plymouth’s Mountain Sound Studios – the blending of styles that seem divided ends up united. I have trouble picking a standout track, but for the record I’ll go with Astray which displays all Dark Water’s dynamic range.