As music aficionados mourn the passing of iconoclasts, American-born British singer-songwriter Scott Walker this week and English band Talk Talk's Mark Hollis last month, take solace in how their uncompromising artistry has influenced generation after generation of forward-thinking musicians, including the English experimental rockers These New Puritans.
The latter push themselves with each record, pulverising genre lines. A song on their fourth album gives an idea of their modus operandi.
On the waltz-like dirge, Where The Trees Are On Fire, an apocalyptic vision emerges. "This is where the trick goes wrong/The rabbit's gone, you've lost the song/This is where the trees are on fire," warns Jack Barnett, trumpet-like synths rising and falling like mist, before twin brother George's odd-stepping drums come in.
The source is a dream that Jack had: In it, he, George and a friend from school are walking near their family home in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex and the friend pointed to Two Tree Island, a small isle dredged from the Thames estuary in the 18th century, and said: "Oh, can you see those trees over there? They're on fire."
Two Tree Island has been used over time as pasture, landfill site and, now, as a verdant nature reserve - a potent image that sums up the restlessness of a band which sound ultra-futuristic and primeval at the same time, probing the recesses of time, space and humanity.
To that end, Inside The Rose marries the math-rock disjunction of their first two records, Beat Pyramid (2008) and Hidden (2010), with the fluid, post-classical leanings of Fields Of Reeds (2013). It's yin and yang, sad and sanguine, bleak and romantic.
INSIDE THE ROSE
These New Puritans
The title track swirls with synths that mimic strings, before a galloping beat traipses through and Jack utters: "Accelerate inside/Inside the rose/I see you change."
Change is the only constant. Anti-Gravity begins like a harbinger of a cult-like ritual or a horror massacre with a barely-there hum - no one quite knows.
"You do a great impression/Of Someone who is/Lost/Well I'm lost too/So let's get lost together," Jack intones, as the skeletal drums ride and skittle over a melody which refuses to settle into an easy groove.
Throughout, you grasp snatches of sounds (and meanings) - some familiar and cocooning, others harsh and glaring - as they intersect and meld. A female choir coos in the cavernous Beyond Black Suns. Vibraphones loop in Infinity Vibraphones, undercut by a stuttering martial beat at the end.
The centrepiece is A-R-P, a song which sounds like it could have soundtracked a Stanley Kubrick time-travelling head-trip. Escalating computer beeps are juxtaposed with thunderous booms. Jack sings in a high, breathless rasp: "Let this music be a kind of paradise/A kind of nightmare/A kind of I-don't-care/But I see you."
With bated breath, you keep your eyes wide open.