If STIAN WESTERHUS’s previous album Amputation sounded like a corporeal attack, a war being waged between voice and music, Redundance is the (relative) calm after the storm. That’s not to say it’s any less vital or engaged – just that a détente has been reached, the debris of conﬂict stripped back. Westerhus’s re-markable vocals are more upfront than ever – naked, raw and achingly melodic .– while the instrumentation serves the songs rather than threatening to over-whelm them. The passion and intensity remains though. Redundance confronts psycholog-ical trauma head on, Westerhus addressing an intolerable situation, cutting away at his personal history in order to forge a new way forward. There’s anger and sadness in here, but also a righteous desire to redeﬁne the turbulence of the past, to tell the truth and to move on. As Westerhus sings on the title track, “Swal-lowed my pride just to keep us alive, but never ever again”. Westerhus’s reputation as a questing, idiosyncratic guitarist – both in collab-oration (most recently with Ulver) and as a solo performer – is further enhanced throughout. Yet Redundance also shows a more lyrical side to his playing. Per-haps the most surprising track here is ‘Walk The Line’, a celestial acoustic ballad that edges into traditional singer-songwriter territory, before a dramatic swell of electric fretwork jolts us from our reverie. At the other end of the spectrum, ‘Hold On’ is a grimy slab of sinister, robotic garage rock, Westerhus’s guitar wailing with glee. Redundance is a mesmerising cry of deﬁance, a cathartic throwing oﬀ of des-tiny. Westerhus shares the same singularity of vision, commitment to boundary- pushing and talent for avant-rock ear-wormery as artists such as Nick Cave, Scott Walker and David Bowie. On the strength of this album, it doesn’t feel hy-perbolic to include him in such exalted company.