Pendulum - Immersion
Drum'n'bass'n'metal'n'electro Aussies impress on their latest longplayer
Following the storming ‘In Silico’, Pendulum’s third album has less of a crossover appeal, but that’s not to say it’s not there at all. Just get your ears around the sheer quality of ‘The Vulture’, a track that apes the punk attitude of The Prodigy, but run through with a more clubland bounce. ‘Crush’ and the single ‘Watercolour’ may prove the group haven’t progressed much from ‘In Silico’, but they’re just as good as that album’s finest moments. Elsewhere, ‘Immunize’ is as impressive as you’d expect a collaboration with Liam Howlett (The Prodigy) to be, and though ‘The Island Pt 1’ is a little average, it only makes the tectonic scale of the second part all the more jaw-dropping.
The album’s let down by too much ‘same old’; following the intro, opener ‘Salt In The Wounds’ and ‘Under The Waves’ are disappointing efforts you’ve heard elsewhere – effective clubland dancefloor fillers nonetheless, but there’s little to place them above their contemporaries. They try to do something different for ‘Comprachios’, by attempting to cross Nine Inch Nails with Innerpartysystem. It doesn’t work.
However, there’s simply too much to enjoy on this album. The collaboration with Steven Wilson, ‘The Fountain’ is satisfyingly different; lighter but just as danceable beats back the Porcupine Tree man’s uplifting vocals, before ‘Encoder’ sends us out on a summery, euphoric high. But worth the asking price alone is ‘Self Vs Self’. While the metalheads lured to the dark side (aka: dance music) by this band will have their loyalties tested once again, this collaboration with In Flames could have just sounded like a remix, but instead it’s a fucking monster: a storming blend of metal and dance that reminds you just why a band like Pendulum is being covered on these pages. Not as much of a progression as we had wanted, but still a more than impressive album, Pendulum will hold onto their status as crossover champions, and will keep whipping dance floors and moshpits into an utter frenzy with this album.