About halfway through “No One Will Ever Know” there’s a track called “Take A Long Hard Look At Me” which is a riotous mix of metal, industrial and something a little dance orientated.

A brilliant song, it is perhaps the best thing on offer here, but, trying to come up with references for it for this review proved tricky. All I had were Grand Theft Audio (the band that The Wildhearts’ Rich Battersby formed with Three Colours Red’s Chris McCormack in the early 2000s), and Radiator – who’s debut album I adored back in the late 90s.

That alone probably tells you that I wouldn’t necessarily listen to this type of music much anymore, but actually it does reveal something about Sulpher. That’s the sound. That’s their era too.

When I was listening to a lot of this stuff back then, I had the first – and so far only – Sulpher record. “Spray” was brilliant. It got them to the Best Band award in Metal Hammer in 2003, and then they went on hiatus. Largely because the people behind the band, Rob Holliday and Steve Monti were too busy to do much else. Holliday is the guitarist with The Prodigy and Marilyn Manson, Monti has worked with The Mission, Gary Numan, The Jesus And Mary Chain, the Cocteau Twins, Laibach, Gang Of Four and Shakespears Sister.

But the two had always had a musical connection. First in the band Curve in the 90s, so they dusted off Sulpher in 2012 and the results are here.

And make no mistake about it at all. “No One Will Ever Know” adds to their legacy rather than detracting from it. Or to reference another slice of early 2000s culture: this is not like when Only Fools And Horses came back for those shit Christmas Specials and you thought: “why couldn’t you have just left it when they were millionaires….?”

Rather, “….Know” begins in pretty heavy fashion. Big, crushing grooves abound on the title track, and it has a huge chorus to go with it. If that is big, though “Follow You Down” is thunderous. It is interesting that although you wouldn’t call this a metal record, it is heavier and denser than many that are.

But it is one with many twists. There is an electro pulse about “Used” and new guitarist Andy Spillane and bass player Davy Bennet (who are joining the main pair on this) earn their money here.

“You Threw It All It Away” is a real change of pace, right from the piano opening. It is an unsettling, dark journey, something akin, perhaps to what Stabbing Westward used to do, while the instrumental (save for some whispered words) “Didn’t Ever” is a slice of something even a little trippy.

From trippy to trip hop, in “Nothing” and as Holliday says: “I’m fascinated by what people are capable of doing to each other…..these songs are my personal way of dealing with what is going on in the world”. This one is a pretty nightmarish place to be.

“Tomorrow” is another of light in amongst the shade. “Acoustic” and fragile, while the lyrics are just as bleak – and it works perfectly. “Fell Through” marries these two worlds nicely, more pop than many here, it is another example of the fine way these songs are weaved.

“Feels Like The End” – I was going to say “oddly” here, but perhaps not given what these two do for a day job – has an arena filling, euphoric quality about it, and in that spirit it ends the album on a musically upbeat note.

Whether the title of the song is prescient and it is the end again, or the beginning of a new era only time will tell. Either way, “No One Will Ever Know” is a real statement. A couple of listens may be needed to fully appreciate its truly beguiling charms, but it is worth it when it traps you in its web.

Rating 8/10

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