(III) - Crystal Castles
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 58 Ratings

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  • Band members: Ethan Kath, Alice Glass
  • Summary: The third release for the Canadian electro-pop duo was produced by the band member Ethan Kath and recorded in Berlin and Warsaw.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. 90
    Being doomed seldom sounded so beautiful.
  2. Nov 13, 2012
    Crystal Castles aren't as cold as they appear to be, but they are calculating--(III) is an expertly produced album that, at just nearly 40 minutes, leaves fans wanting more.
  3. Nov 13, 2012
    Sometimes controlled, occasionally chaotic, this new album packs a powerful impact.
  4. Nov 16, 2012
    Rarely is an electronic album like sparked with such radical confidence.
  5. Nov 13, 2012
    In deadly seriousness, it's hardly an exaggeration to suggest you've surely never heard anything like (III).
  6. Dec 17, 2012
    A quantum leap it ain't--and Glass could do with putting her fangs back in--but (III) has just enough up its sleeve to keep Crystal Castles on track.
  7. Nov 13, 2012
    Track after track leans heavily on the relentless four-to-the-floor of trance, with Alice Glass's yelped vocals muffled under a weight of sound that's simultaneously boring and abrasive.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Nov 16, 2012
    III is consistent, cohesive and tight. There is no late album tail-off here - no filler. Perfectly paced and sequenced and very, very affecting. Full of insidious pop hooks and dark, unbalanced instrumentation, lyrics and ideas. No one else does this sort of music as well, and CC have never done it better than here. Collapse
  2. Nov 29, 2012
    Crystal Castles both benefit and suffer from being loved so much by their audience. They have been cherished like a first-born and, in many cases, that adoration insists that, to keep things perfect, nothing must change. Ever. But (III) is change. It is the sound of a journey, of growing, and wanting to tell people what you've seen. Of course, not everyone wants to grow up just yet, and for them the first two albums are still there; forever unaltered. For those who want to go somewhere this album is a wonderful experience. Experimentation, gloom and (yet) energy pour out. Synapses get giddy as it becomes clear the trip will not be predictable. But it will be playful and inspiring. This is a great record, and it puts them amongst a handful of artists who refuse to buy into the idea that challenging their audience is a risk to their 'business', and that being entertaining while you do that isn't in any way a sellout. In truth, you need both to make a lasting impact. So, three for three Expand
  3. May 5, 2013
    Crystal Castles con (III) ha decidido dar seguimiento a un sonido similar a (II), pero en esta ocasión la banda prefirió sonar más analógico, grabando el álbum en cinta y reduciendo el uso de sintetizadores, logrando una construcción más Lo-fi que evidencia que hay una clara influencia del Witch House.

    El resultado es un trabajo lleno de texturas que dan la sensación de estar en una película de terror y al mismo tiempo de escuchar una canción de cuna. ¨Plague", primer track del álbum remite inmediatamente a sonidos rave de los años 90 y Witch House, Alice Glass combina gritos con cantos melódicos (como una fusión entre Baptism y Celestica).

    "Kerosene" es una canción sencilla de ritmo constante que funciona bastante bien, sigue un una trama oscura con tintes caóticos controlados. "Wrath of God" lleva el mismo enfoque que "Plague", pero en esta ocasión hay una yuxtaposición entre una dulce melodía de brillos hipnóticos y un detonador de gritos, sofocación y desesperación.

    "Affection" consigue un sonido más Dreampop que recuerda la dulce voz de Alice Glass, por otro lado "Pale Flesh" hace una jugada muy al estilo "Empathy". "Sad Eyes" ubicado en medio del álbum es un track Witchpop que incita inmediatamente a bailar, su sonido es como un "Celestica" más analógico. "Insulin" podría ser un hermano más de canciones anteriores como "Doe Deer","Insectica" o"Mother Know Best".

    "Transgender" compone un sonido dinámico que da continuidad al álbum. "Violent Youth" remite a sonidos anteriores de Crystal Castles pero sin usar 8-bit, una canción desafortunada. "Telepath" parece estar lleno de instrumentos descompuestosque logran una textura ideal que se acompaña de salpicadas de la voz de Alice. "Mercenary" nos prepara para un final, es perfecta para ir cerrando el álbum, al fondo se escucha la tonada de "Sad Eyes" pero en reversa.

    Y finalmente "Child I Will Hurt You", el descenlace tradicional melancólico de 5 palabras que contrapone por completo a "Plague", pues ésta es dulce, sosegada, triste y distante. El sonido de (III) es menos pegajoso que sus álbumes anteriores, pero gusta más.
  4. Nov 13, 2012
    Crystal Castles have followed up their acclaimed and beautiful yet brutal second album with a raw, dark, depressing, and honest collection of material that succeeds in showing fantastic maturation and growth. Less of a social experience than their previous release, the stripped down production almost hints at a desire to alienate insincere "fans". This is not a feel-good or very danceable album. This is experimental dance music for the thinking person fed up with the current political climate and its blatantly over the top disrespect for and objectivation of women. This is "punk" music at its absolute finest. (III) should disappoint nobody, except of course for the completely unaware Tumblr-obsessed Tweens who listen to bands solely because of their hair colors and visual blogability (don't blame the band, that kind of thing is inevitable). This album is so aesthetically pleasing that if you care about the kind of social issues the band have expressed so much concern with as of late, diving into this deep world of gloom will prove to be an experience greater than I & II. Highlights: Plague, Kerosene, Wrath of God, Affection, Sad Eyes, Violent Youth, Child I Will Hurt You (honestly the whole album). Expand
  5. Nov 15, 2012
    As a long time fan of CC, I'd say that this album is ultimately satisfying. The variety of the songs is refreshing, and some are especially wonderful. The only downfall is that none of the songs are spectacular, like was evident in previous works (Alice Practice, Not In Love, etc). Standouts are: Plague, Insulin, Affection, Violent Youth and Telepath. Expand
  6. Nov 18, 2012
    I've been a Crystal Castles fan for about a half a year already. I adored their debut immensely upon firs listen, and couldn't stop listening to it from then on. Then I gave their sophomore album a listen and was almost as blown away as I was about their first one. Both electro masterpieces in my opinion. (III) was my most anticipated this year. My expectations were out of the roof. Maybe that wasn't the best idea. Crystal Castles III is really unlike their first two LP's. They went for a much darker approach. I was fascinated the first few listens, but then it really dawned on me that it sounded a little too plain on some tracks. Other tracks are great (Wrath Of God, Plague, Pale Flesh) but a few others seemed to really obscure Alice Glass's vocals (as if they weren't already slaughtered from the glitchy reverb). All In All, I'm glad Crystal Castles aren't riding the one-trick pony bandwagon and switching up their sound, I just had my expectations way too high, thinking I was gonna hear a masterpiece. But instead I heard a solid electro record that could've been a lot better. B- Expand
  7. Nov 16, 2012
    It's not a bad album by any stretch of the imagination but there's so much wrong with it - they seem to have replaced their usual skippy, catchy hi-hat based drum beats with flat drum rhythms that are more bass heavy but don't carry any kind of weight with them and the usual right-hand synth leads that were there in abundance on their previous two albums have been replaced with hazy, dull chords that feel more like "haunting" pads than anything else. It really does show how much Alice's usually violent vocal delivery actually contributes to Crystal Castles' overall sound when she's forced to sing in a breathy, "haunting" way. She's far too subdued for my liking this time around. She tends to get swallowed up in some really bland and generic synth patterns that you could find on any witch-house record or any random electronic DJ-mix.

    There are some pretty catchy vocal hooks on there, and I have to give them credit for trying to expand their sound, but overall it's a big disappointment.