Whilst serving as understudies to the more popular "comfort in misery" merchants Elbow, Saso have been quietly going about their business without ever quite surpassing the dark delights of their debut. Perhaps it's because they felt they had to dilute their message a little to appeal to a wider audience. Again, 'Middle Ages' is essentially a bleak-sounding record which fails to truly ignite but is smart and atmospheric enough to get by on its own subtle merits. 'Bone' comes closest to a sense of urgency thanks to its imposing, demonic drumming whilst 'Red Scare' uses distortion and a rattling guitar figure to make its mark. On the other hand, 'Tres Kilos' sounds merely worrying and 'Snowstorm' is the best chance the group have of chart action but whilst it's a pleasant enough song with a decent tune, it is also another entry in the already over-populated domain of hand-wringing anthems. Rather than an album of tunes, this is a collection of moods; some hung together with droplets of piano music a la Talk Talk circa 'Spirit Of Eden' as others explore a soft-focus journey into angst, best heard on 'Chasing Monsters' and 'Blood Is Thin'. Either way, Saso are still a reliably decent band.