Pendulum - Immersion
Pendulum have seen a meteoric rise in the past few years, with their last album In Silico successfully bringing rock and drum & bass fans together in their droves. Since the release of said album in 2008 their schedule has been pretty relentless, playing festivals as diverse as Download and Glastonbury, as well as gracing the stage of Creamfields. With Immersion, their latest release, there certainly isn't much in the way of progression but then again, Pendulum have never been a band to make broad steps forward. This picks up right where In Silico left off with its crunchy riffs and big beats, however it does move in a decidedly more electronic direction reminiscent of first album Hold Your Colour.
'Salt in the Wounds' kicks things off in style, with the drums building till the fast and furious synths take over. Echoes of dubstep are noticeable in the latter part of the song where the tempo is taken down a notch, demonstrating an enjoyable and dynamic side of Pendulum's instrumental prowess. Latest single 'Watercolour' is a typical, epic piece with some top vocals from Rob Swire who seems to have grown into his role as frontman.
This time around the band have had a fair few guests contribute. First up is The Prodigy's Liam Howlett who co-produces 'Immunize', a track which quite obviously bares the mark of that band, and is all the better for it. Next up, and potentially the most interesting of all the collaborations, is 'Self vs Self' featuring Swedish melodic death-metal maestros In Flames. What could have been an exciting meeting of minds, ends up sounding pretty much like a new In Flames song, and in turn feels a little out of place. Perhaps the most unexpected appearance though is made by Steven Wilson of prog-rock flag-bearers Porcupine Tree. His turn on 'The Fountain' is probably the most bland and boring piece of music the frontman has lent his voice to, and makes you wonder why he actually agreed to do it.
The rest of the album doesn't fare much better, and while Pendulum are never expected to be the most technically riveting band, all Immersion seems to do is retread old ground, and not even to the same standard as previous records. A small step in the wrong direction.