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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 25 July 2003
"The Vertigo of Bliss" is the follow up to Biffy Clyro's debut "Blackened Sky" from 2001. Released this year amid an increasingly tiresome mainstream and an infuriating bent on reality, this album is a perfect device for scrambling one's perceptions and funnelling them through a meticulously constructed pipeline of concepts, emotions and themes.
Branded with the usual , Biffy Clyro are "nu-metal", "emocore", "punk", butwhatever the hell is written about them matters little. The Opening track ("Bodies In Flight") sets a precedent of Biffy at their frantic best. Mixing a monstously loud array of distorted guitars ("Now The Action Is On Fire!") with a tender, lilting celtic clean tone; Biffy Clyro weave melodies that tease the ear before flattening the listener with a hammer punch of caustic guitar riffage ("A Day Of...").
Which is no mean feat considering that Biffy are a somewhat understated three piece from deepest darkest Scotland. Formed in "mid-1990s" from frontman Simon Neil and his rythm section of the Johnston brothers , three way vocals are the order of the day. These are revealed as insprining harmonies ("All The Way Down: Prologue Chapter 1") and schizophrenic banshee screams ("Toys, Toys, Toys, Choke, Toys, Toys, Toys").
Singles "The Ideal Height" and "Questions And Answers" have gleaned fair coverage on MTV2 whilst gracing the Top 40 on both occasions, the new single "Eradicate The Doubt" out September 22nd will jab it's quarter inch fishing hook through your ear and point blank REFUSE to let go before exploding in a earth shattering manifestation of rage. The last few bars are VISCERAL. Think Glassjaw riffage minus the warped painkillers, mix it with the dynamic capacity of System Of A Down and you KNOW it works!
I advise that people listen to Biffy Clyro. They will be impressed, if not indoctrinated.
Bee Lee J Everson.
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on 16 June 2003
Although the whole album doesn't run as well as the first, it's still a collection of really good songs. at times the 'tactics' employed are a bit samey - beautiful quiet moments pushed to the side by a metal spasm, and then brought back again. but there is something more to the music this time round. there is more emphasis on the music than the lyrics this time round. that's good or bad depending on what you like. but it's likely one of the opening tracks will become your new favourite biffy clyro song. it's one of those albums that slowly grow on you, by bathing you with its quirks long after you've pressed stop on your stereo. get a copy.
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on 23 June 2003
Biffy Clyro have taken a brave approach with their second release. Instead of casually milking the devotion of their fans with more big anthems like "justboy", they've gone the other way and now seem to concentrate on fractured, unpredictable musical arrangements that made up the less catchy songs on "Blackened Sky."
Opener "Bodies in Flight" is probably one of the more successful cuts, with big post-hardcore riffs and memorable melodic passages that are key to Biffy's sound. In other songs, however, the band seem to get so caught up in the increasing musical complexity that you wonder if its really necessary, and whether theyre just showing off their ability for intricate band interplay. That said, they can still pull out a simple good tune like "questions and answers" so there isnt much point in complaining.
This is an accomplished, cerebral album thats not intented to invite a mass audience, but should give the patient listener something substantial to chew on. Give it a go.
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on 20 June 2003
Vertigo bliss has to be one of the releases of the year, with a fresh, angular take on Biffy's already well-established 'pop-core' sound. (Ugh)
The stop start motion that has been so often alluded to in reviews has been honed to perfection by 3 years of nearly constant touring, and it shows through in vertigo of bliss. Songs like "Now the action is on fire" show that Biffy have retained their metal philosophy, whilst "Diary Of Always" highlights an entirely different, hitherto untapped side of the band, which provides chills aplenty.
As biffy slowly move towards bigger and bigger venues and releases, there are definitely a few G n R stadium rock moments - All the Way Down will sound *amazing* in the open air at TITP this year...
All in all stunning, and not a bad song amongst them. Different from Blackened Sky, yes, but just as good, if not better. Buy it now.
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on 3 July 2003
When I met the bassist at a gig he told me the album would be out in December. Six months later it finally arrived, and it was certainly worth the wait. The original Biffy album has many stand-out tracks (27, 57, justboy...etc), whereas The Vertigo Of Bliss is more of an overall masterpiece. There are a number of top tunes, but not many of them would survive as singles. You need to hear them all together to appreciate the work of art that this album is.
Much of the album continues in the familiar Biffy vein, with unpredictable rhythms and ever-changing moods. However, we see another side of Biffy in 'Diary Of Always', incorporating sampled drums and lush electronica.
Overall, a great album, but get Blackened Sky first to get the Biffy feel.
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on 18 June 2003
This is an interesting and inventive follow-up to "Blackened Sky", an album that both surprised and entertained me. I think they have a great future no matter what path they choose and I feel that this album is a more measured and mature showing. They deftly balance ballads with clever rock tracks, bringing emotive and intelligent lyrics into the mix. The orchestration on certain tracks adds new elements to their creative prowess where "blackened sky" hadn't tread.
an accompished album that is growing on me all the time. worth repeated listening to uncover the hidden depth.
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on 23 May 2012
Back in 2003 after seeing Question & Answers a few times on MTV2 and really liking it (Yes, people of an age will remember when MTV2 firstly existed and secondly wasn't a load of crap with more ads than music) a week or so latter saw Vertigo and thought how brilliant the art was and decided to buy it based on Q+A, listed to it a few times liking only 5 or 6 tracks, mainly tracks with instant hooks such as Q+A, Liberate Illiterate and All The Way Down, but then every other time I listened to it I found myself falling more and more in love with this record,
songs that I had skipped past before or had thought were a bit much such as Eradicate The Doubt and Now The Action became all conquering.

This has to be my number one favorite album of all time, to sum up this record in one word would quite simply be 'faultless' from start to finish I love every second of every track, if someone asked what my favorite song was I don't think I could answer, the intricacy and structure of this record is without doubt impressive and to a point where I feel that even though all these songs are very individual, sit very easily next to each other.
Credit also has to be given to Chris Sheldon for his production, epic and vast in scale while retaining the excitement and raw energy without being over produced (Cough... cough.... garth richardson).

I love Biffy and they have put out some outstanding records but none of them are of the same caliber as Vertigo of Bliss.
I like to think this album isn't a straight forward listen and the time I invested going back to it, seeing it in two different ways then seeing it as a whole, growing up with this music has very much cemented this band into my life and I cant believe its nearly ten years ago since it came out....

If your a new fan be warned this isn't an instant fix like Only Revolutions but if you put the time in you'll be rewarded.
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on 19 June 2003
I loved biffy's first album. It was by far the best record released ever. When i first heard this album (after eagerly waiting for it for several months, i was shocked and terrfied. Something has most definietly changed in the biffy camp, but after a second listen, i realised this was easily as good as the first one. Mainstreamers my find its varied and passionate vocals and off-kilter guitars hard to swallow. But intelligent music lovers will be bowled over by the greatest album release this year.
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on 26 June 2003
If you like Blackened Sky you will absolutely love their new album. Just over 60 minutes of pure brilliance.
This album shows even more than the first one the diversity of the band and how they have grown musically. If you listen to 'Diary of Always' and then to 'A Day Of...' then you'll understand.
The best tracks on the album for me are 'Bodies in Flight', 'With Aplomb', 'All The Way Down' and of course 'Toys Toys Toys Choke, Toys Toys Toys'.
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on 18 June 2003
Having listened to this extensively over the past few days it is blatantly apparent that Biffy have matured tenfold since the days of Iname.
Utilising string sections like their Scottish counterparts Aereogramme, this album is utterly compelling. Stand out tracks are A Day of.. and Now the action. A worthy purchase and alongside Blackened Sky a supreme collection of songs.
Why are you still reading this? Go and listen to it
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