Wait! Stop! Come back! Polarkreis 18 may sound like a poison used at Auschwitz, the name of a far right militia group or a campaign to save those fluffy white things that live in the North Pole, but all these six young lads are guilty of is listening to too much Sigur Rós.
Since forming as schoolboys in their native Dresden ten years ago, Polarkreis 18 have amassed a significant German following. 'The Colour of Snow' is their second album, and its UK and Irish release comes at a fortuitous time - its lead track 'Allein Allein' has recently been used to soundtrack Tour de France montages, subsequently penetrating the consciousness of hundreds of thousands of unwitting punters. That same track is far from the best here, though; it's a hearty attempt at creating an icy atmosphere over a quasi-Eurotrance beat, but it just sounds like a Jean-Michel Jarre song that was abandoned mid-idea.
Yet perhaps that description is slightly misleading of Polarkreis 18's general demeanour. Much of 'The Colour of Snow' is as blank and haunted-sounding as its name suggests, but there are moments of note. Opener 'Tourist' sees a towering drum roll overtake a sparse piano melody and singer Felix Rauber's waifish Jonsi Birgisson-like falsetto; 'Prisoner' is a real delight and mixes brass, woodwind and strings with an understated electronica skitter to a superb conclusion, and 'River Loves the Ocean''s bleak winter choir evokes magical, enchanted-forest-at-midnight imagery.
But it's a pity that much of 'The Colour of Snow' is too hollow to really get under your skin. For people who like the thought of subtle Sigur Rós remixes, though, this may be the album for you.