Crystal Castles - Plague

If Crystal Castles’ newbie really is a plague, get yourself infected.

It feels like a really long time since ‘Crystal Castles (II)’, but the explosive noise-pop duo finally unleashed new material on the world today, with ‘Plague’.

It’s almost a modern day interpretation of the ‘O Fortuna’ movement of Carl Orff’s ‘Carmina Burana’ as the drama builds thanks to an ominous-sounding beginning to a frighteningly huge catharsis. The song’s main synth line goes from unsettlingly hollow and echo-laden to apocalyptically Gregorian in the chorus, Alice Glass screaming the refrain ‘I am a plague!’ and sounding like a threat of suicide thanks to her petulant psycho-brat charm.

And although there was no shortage of dark moments on their previous album, ‘Plague’ takes this darkness to a whole new level. Unlike ‘Vietnam’ which starts off with an industrial buzz before transforming to a supernova of crystalline strings, ‘Plague”s quieter build-up to its gothic chorus drenched in black keys is both immediately oppressive and haunting. It actually sounds quite sad too; there’s absolutely no reprieve or glimmer of hope. It’s a show of defiance in a completely futile situation.

‘Plague’ feels different to their previous efforts, as by their own standards, it’s much more of a slow burner. This isn’t to suggest they’ve deviated from their practise of lambasting you with razor-sharp electronica, but this really paces itself to frightening effect. And like all their work, it’s a sensory overload that’s absolutely mesmerising.

With ‘Plague’, Crystal Castles have both kept their signature sound and evolved in to a much darker beast. Who’d have thought it possible?

Tags: Crystal Castles, Reviews

Read More

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Stay Updated!

Get the best of DIY to your inbox each week.

Latest Issue

September 2023

Featuring James Blake, Romy, Marika Hackman, yeule and more.

Read Now Buy Now Subscribe to DIY