Crystal Castles gets reinvented for new album, Amnesty (I)

Crystal Castles Amnesty (I)Experimental electronica is back on the radar as Crystal Castles plan a return with Amnesty (I), the band’s fourth studio album, and the first name reset from their eponymous debut and its II and III variants. We’re feeling pretty lethargic today, so a fresh batch of sonic assault is just what we need, and from the first few spins of the lead single from the album, it sounds like like that’s exactly what we’re going to get yet again from the new material.

You’ll have to go back to 2012 for the band’s last album release, III, but then that was before Alice Glass left the band, indicating that it was the end of Crystal Castles. However, the arrival of Amnesty (I) confirms that things weren’t quite at final as they seemed when her statement arrived saying “this is the end of the band”. Without Glass, Ethan Kath has had to string things back together and with new vocalist Edith Frances in as the new other half of the band, there’s a lot riding on the new record.

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Release

Amnesty (I) will be released on the 19th August 2016, when it will be available on CD, vinyl and digital download through Fiction  Records in the UK and Casablanca Records in the US. There isn’t going to be much in the way of UK gigs to support the release of the album, with just Reading and Leeds scheduled. However, there’s an extensive worldwide tour if you’re looking for an excuse for a hol with Crystal Castles playing all over the US in 2016 and a return to Europe in the winter, but sadly no more UK stop offs for the new look line-up this year.

Singles

Three singles have already been released ahead of the album and they’ve been picking up radio airtime ever since. The first was Frail, which arrived in 2015 as the band’s first recording since Glass’s departure, and then it was followed up this year with both Concrete and Char, which were released this July.

Having listened to the three tracks, it doesn’t sound like there’s been that much lost in the balance with Glass’s vocals out of the mix. Edith France’s has done a pretty good job of stepping in to fill the void, while it is if anything increasingly clear that Kath’s creative input is the defining factor behind the band’s impact.

Char audio stream video trailer:

Amnesty (I) track list:

  1. Femen
  2. Fleece
  3. Char
  4. Enth
  5. Sadist
  6. Teach Her How to Hunt
  7. Chloroform
  8. Frail
  9. Concrete
  10. Ornament
  11. Kept
  12. Their Kindness Is Charade

First impressions

It’s always tough to follow up the loss of a band member with a new record, especially when there was only the two of you in the first place. It’s a bit like Jack White ploughing on with a new drummer as The White Stripes, but in all fairness to Ethan Kath he’s made it stick in the three singles released to-date for Amnesty (I). If the rest of the album has anywhere near as much serious intention, experimentation and unconventional styling then it should be another great record from Crystal Castles.

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