Love Death ImmortalityIf The Glitch Mob‘s new album were a room, it would probably be that basement room you avoided as kid, full of cobwebs, rusty cans of spray paint and lit by a single, bare light bulb.

I’d like to say that losing two of their original five founding members hasn’t slowed The Glitch Mob down, but that wouldn’t hold true in the most literal sense, considering the Olympics were in Vancouver when they released their last album, “Drink the Sea.”  Four years between albums isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  Art should take as long as it needs to manifest and as far as I’m concerned, the artist should shape and direct it as it comes.  Nobody needs another shallow, meaningless electronic music album.  Of course, there’s also a direct correlation between length of time between releases and increased expectations for the new release. 

On first listen, it seems the trio haven’t lost the core sound established they established as a quintet on “Drink the Sea.”  The dual lead distorted synth lines weaving around each other, the low piano parts, the violently insistent drums and vocal samples are all present and accounted for.  What’s missing, or at least what’s different than the predecessor is the higher frequency atmospherics, the overlayed textures that rounded out their sound were either forgotten or set aside.  The result is a flatter overall sound, but given the murky tone throughout the songs, that may be both intentional and for the better.

The album is dark, and reminds me of The Prodigy’s transition from the brighter, poppier “Experience” to the grim, dirty sound of “Music for the Jilted Generation.”  The collection of songs were clearly created with a central idea or theme, arranged in the same way to take their listeners on a trip underground, through that dirty basement room and on down the rabbit hole.

If you’re already a fan of Glitch Mob, I don’t see how you couldn’t like “Love Death Immortality.”  Their stronger songs are definitely the collaborations, particularly the two songs featuring Aja Volkman on vocals.  The others, while elaborately tied together in instrumentation, tone and melodies, begin to sound a little redundant.