Published: February 10, 2014
By: Jordan Calvano
On January 7th, 2014, I finally got my crazed hands on an early stream of The Glitch Mob’s new album. For a second, I couldn’t breathe. Was it real? Was it some sick joke orchestrated by my editor, whom I had offended at the Christmas party (so sorry, dude, I've never known nylon to be that flammable)? Did years of working at a soup kitchen on Sundays finally pay off? After reading and rereading my email, and unlocking the labyrinthine puzzle to engage the stream, I knew it was real. So, I did exactly what any normal person would do:
6 PM: Find those new headphones your Mom bought you for Christmas and plug them into your computer. You can’t control your excitement, so you end up running to the refrigerator and grabbing a giant tub of ice cream.
6:05 PM: After you finish the ice cream and the first track off Love Death Immortality while combatting the worst brain freeze of your life, you instantly rip your headphones off and run around the house screaming “Heavy.” You realize your dog needs to hear this.
8 PM: You finally finish Love Death Immortality. The album isn’t two hours long, but that’s what happens when you keep pressing repeat on every track.
4 AM: You didn’t write that paper you were assigned for school. Your friends keep calling you to come party but answering is not an option. You consciously decide that going to work isn’t happening. Your dog doesn’t understand you.
11 AM: You’ve memorized every note on Love Death Immortality. You take a shower and notice that at some point in the night you got The Glitch Mob’s ubiquitous logo tattooed across your chest. You smile and accept that this has become your life now.
After about a month of this, I finally mustered up the words to write my review. It wasn’t easy, and I must have consumed at least four pints of Kombucha and two packets of seaweed in the process. The reason? Love Death Immortality simply left me shell-shocked.
The second album from the Los Angeles based trio and follow up to Drink The Sea (2010) has been in the works for years now, proving that true musical craftsmanship takes time and patience.
With the first half of Love Death Immortality, we witness The Glitch Mob shifting to a much heavier feel than Drink The Sea. The sound design and much of the instrumentations are reminiscent of their earlier work, but what truly sets these songs apart is how absolutely heavy they are. “Mind of a Beast” proves this to be true after a cliff-hanging intro, ramping things up around 1:20 with surging synthesizers that leave you completely breathless. The only word your mind can even process is “Heavy.” Following this is “Our Demons,” setting itself apart as the most brazen track on the album with a jaw-dropping combination of Aja Volkman’s (Nico Vega) gritty vocals and pulverizing layers of glitch that will catch you off guard.
After hearing these songs along with “Skullclub,” “Becoming Harmonious,” and “Can’t Kill Us,” one thing will become abundantly clear to the listener: edIT, OOAH, and Boreta have been mainlining metal.
The second half of the album sees the Mob toning things down and returning closer to their traditional sound. Visceral creations like “Skytoucher” and “Carry The Sun” undoubtedly add to their growing sound design repertoire, simultaneously reminding listeners of the engrossing emotions they felt when first experiencing The Glitch Mob. We hear similar synth and drum patterns, making the second half of the album feel more like a sequel to Drink The Sea than the first. Closing things out is “Beauty of the Hidden Heart,” injecting unrelenting sentiments directly into the listener’s psyche with a lofty amalgam of Sister Crayon’s ethereal melodies, lush strings, and inspiriting instrumental sections. In the same vein as “Between Two Points” on Drink The Sea, we observe The Glitch Mob providing a single robotic love ballad on each of their LP’s. You can’t help but think about someone you care about immensely from start to finish.
On Love Death Immortality, The Glitch Mob succeeds by balancing new and old. The album is cohesive and often reminiscent of their previous work, but we still see the progress and new components of their intricately layered sound design. The album is heavier than their debut, and we also take in more vocals. Regardless, you still get that classic feeling of driving off into the sunset whenever you press play. You can see the influence Drink The Sea had on Love Death Immortality, but you can also see where the trio decided to venture into entirely fresh territory. And isn't that what musical immortality is all about?
BreaksDrum and Bass