Now, judging by the way they dress and look, it’s obvious that Crystal Castles don’t really have a bright take on life. In fact the reason that their success has carried them so far is because the two power pessimists dared to stomp on the floors of depression until it caved in to a whole new dimension. Their previous albums of ruthless bleeps and blurps successfully created a doorway to this unique dimension; it was an irresistible invitation to fall through the rabbit hole. But with the second album, the architecture of their alien world is complete, you’ll be engulfed by a world of pain and this time round, I’m not entirely sure how you will escape.
While the previous Crystal Castles may have been fragmented, they’ve managed to take on extra instruments for a more well rounded sound, and as a result, the overall melodies are smoother (in the track “Celestica“, they even manage to come across like a well-polished Scandinavian dance group), but the computer bleeps and robotic jerks still provide the jagged edges that would rub your ears raw. In this album, Alice Glass sings in about 17 different vocal distortions, all of them suitably dehumanized amidst music that is loud, climatic and chaotic, forcing you to burst out of your skin and shoot out in the direction that is completely opposite to that of human existence.
For all the violence and aggression, the band has evolved greatly with enough skill to even incorporate a conflicting theme of grace in their music, making the new album the perfect apocalypse ballet. It is the ultimate form of escapism, a unique opportunity to surf the zeitgeist of the pessimist culture and to surrender yourself to the dark side. And if you still think that Crystal Castles are annoying freaks promoting themselves and writing a really, really bad textbook for all the teenagers out there, just wait till you hear Baptism. Alice Glass is screaming her lungs out, presumably for your attention and oh boy, you’ll be looking at her, and you won’t be able to take your eyes away.
You’ll become a convert to their dark religion.