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iTunes Editors’ Notes

With their third studio album, Crystal Castles mine beauty and solace from the depths of darkness and violence. The darkwave duo's (III) opens with “Plague,” in which Ethan Kath layers haunting electronic textures over stabbing beats before Alice Glass’ icy vocals provide a comforting contrast. There’s a similar duality in the following “Kerosene,” where Kath’s production yields an unsettling backdrop of pointy tones playing at anxiety-building tempos. This builds into a nightmarish darkness balanced against Glass’ alleviating coos, which sound as if she’s whispering to us from under bed sheets. When she closes the song by singing “I’ll protect you/From all the things I’ve seen," it’s as if she’s taken on the protective persona depicted in the album art: a Muslim woman sheltering her son from tear-gas attacks. Without being overtly thematic or conceptual, III is still a very focused album—more than any of Crystal Castles’ preceding recordings. In the standout “Transgender,” Kath bends cold synthesizer notes over a brooding bass drone to create a disturbing soundscape for Glass’ incandescent voice to illuminate.

Customer Reviews

SOMEONE HOLD ME

Oh god im so excited :D My body is ready.

Very Disappointing.

I've been a huge CC fan since the beginning--When they only had a couple thousand friends on Myspace and just came out with Love and Caring. I'm really disappointed they're moving away from what made them so amazing. It basically sounds like Alice is whispering in EVERY song, and the monotone songs are getting very old. And what happened to the fun Gameboy video games sounds? (I) was incredible. (II) was okay. (III) is crap.

/C/R/Y/S/T/A/L/C/A/S/T/L/E/S/ (III)

Three years ago I heard 1991 on vinyl as was hooked right away. Two years ago (II) came out and brought out a very influential masterpiece of music and have been looking forward to the new album for 2 years now (and even more so after seeing them in October). But now (III) has come and has shown something I wouldn’t expect, Here is my review.

Plague: Mind blowing intro and will make you feel sick. (in a good way of course)

Kerosene: A jumpy sounding synth and samples bring a happy yet gloomy joy.

Wrath of God: Very holy and creepy it sounds like a churches bells in some horror movie.

Affection: New trip-hop sound is not only good but it also brings a feel of floating away.

Pale Flesh: Ghostly 8-bit synths and heavy kicks and bass bring you back down to realize the weight to the album.

Sad Eyes: The most upbeat song still scares you with screaming synths and calms you with a sweet forgiving voice.

Insulin: Choppy and mind melting, this is that Doe Deer/ Alice Practice song.

Transgender: Heavenly and it always reminds me of the old creepy songs on the old Gameboy games.

Violent Youth: Very vibrant and spacey, uses very melodic samples for a catchy chorus.

Telepath: This is that "dance your brains out" song of the album. Superised me with the groovy drum line.

Mercenary: It’s right now my favorite of the album, and the reversed sounding syth urges me to listen to it backwards.

Child I Will Hurt You: A perfect ending. A very mellow outro that sounds watery and dreamy.

This is my review of the third album by crystal castles, and I will enjoy spending the rest of the 2 years listing nonstop. CRYSTAL CASTLES (III) 5/5

Biography

Formed: 2003 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Fusing low-res electronic noise and pop hooks so effortlessly that it can seem accidental, Crystal Castles began as producer/multi-instrumentalist Ethan Kath's solo project in late 2003. Kath got the moniker from the name of She-Ra's dwelling in the He-Man and Masters of the Universe cartoon series; it's also the name of a 1983 Atari video game, which is oddly appropriate, considering that one component of the band's distinctive sound comes from a keyboard modified with an Atari 5200 sound chip....
Full Bio
(III), Crystal Castles
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