Pendulum
Immersion


3.5
great

Review

by Peter K. Mark USER (17 Reviews)
May 22nd, 2010 | 7 replies | 5,311 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Bombastic, vivid and aggressive, Immersion vows to shout loud enough to be heard by everyone.

After In Silico, probably most people have thought Pendulum were heading in a different direction that would ultimately cut through their fanbase like butter. It is to say that the group was aiming to try something new and prove to be original not just in the field of drum and bass, where they have revealed their superb signs of creativity immediately on their debut. But why even label their music in the first place? Does it sound better if you call it dubstep or electro rock? Their third effort, Immersion, seems to highlight these questions and it's up to their listeners to find an answer.

Immersion is probably Pendulum's most approachable album to date. Whether you were complaining that Hold Your Colour's beats were too fast or In Silico's guitars are overused, you have got to agree that here you have the best of both worlds and possibly even more. With songs such as "Salt In The Wounds", an epic blast-off to the record, far superior to "Slam", and "Immunize", using Pendulum's signature sound that invited even Prodigy extraordinaire Liam Howlett, the band are not focusing on relighting the flame of their magical debut. Much rather they are concentrating on how to make serious progress without losing too much of their early days' style. And even though some parts lead to at least half a step backwards through the monotone and repetitive synths, the signs of effort are still there.

Pretty much the same can be said for "The Island Part I", a seemingly typical electro house song at first, that suddenly skips to its continuation and enters a different universe that sounds faster and stronger. Although, instead of dividing the track, perhaps Pendulum shouldv have considered them being connected and shortened instead of extending the second part more than necessary by repeating the same parts over and over? Would've sounded more original and could have left room for an additional song. Other than that, nothing wrong here, please carry on.

In an attempt of attracting a larger audience, Pendulum might have both succeeded and failed at the same time. I am sure there is a vast majority out there, that simply cannot swallow the fact that In Flames make a shocking appearance on a drum and bass album. Yet, "Self Vs. Self" does nothing else than prove that both parties were quite eager to synchronize two different genres with the result having absolutely no chance of falling under the label hammer. (with the obvious exception of "The-most-in-your-face-song-on-the-album") "The Fountain", however, the third and final collaboration, doesn't seem to enjoy that effect. Indeed, Wilson's vocals are more than appropriate for the song, but other than that, it adds nothing to the idea of what a great fusion progressive rock and electronica could have been achieved. But perhaps the attempt with the death metal all-stars was quite enough for some.

In terms of lyrics, Swire was more creative on the second album. On "Witchcraft", the intro vocals and the words are just thrown out there and sound cornier than ever. However, the song becomes quite superb when the first verse fades in. The same goes for "Watercolour", an effort to somehow mix "Propane Nightmares" with their new ideas that leads to pure mainstream attention but nothing more. It is not weak, but the album could've been shelved without it.

Production-wise, Immersion is top-notch. Whether you were lacking a few bass parts in In Silico, or the sound just wasn't mastered enough on Hold Your Colour, here it sounds crystal clear and reflects the progress made by Rob Swire as a record producer, which is a definite plus for the album itself.

Although I would like to think that Pendulum's Immersion is the band's most ingenious album to date, I am mistaken. Some will most definitely argue against me, but the repetitiveness of a few songs just destroys the flow of the record. Had Pendulum mixed it up a bit on a few tracks, added a more epic ending rather than the dull "Encoder", re-written some lyrics, Immersion would have been in a whole different league. By no means am I calling it a weak, but it's nothing extraordinary either. It's bombastic, vivid and aggresive, striving to shout loud enough to be heard by everyone. Unfortunately, not quite everyone is listening.



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user ratings (574)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Tyrannic (4)
    Screw thinking, I'll be out dancing....

    fish CONTRIBUTOR (4)
    Accessible, glossy and energetic drum 'n' bass with a little more to offer when explored f...

    Michael B. (4)
    Drum and bass collides with stadium rock. An excellent album emerges....

    grayman (2.5)
    Has Pendulum's "Immersion" changed the landscape of electronic music forever?...

  • Deviant STAFF (3)
    Immersion - Pendulum's attempts at bridging the gap...


Comments:Add a Comment 
FCY
May 22nd 2010


206 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album released on May 21st by Warner Music Ireland.

Twitter feed + iTunes link:

http://twitter.com/warnermusicirl/status/14446355841



Slipping Away
May 22nd 2010


1261 Comments


Might have to check this out but I've never bothered with their past work

Eclectic
May 22nd 2010


3302 Comments


Really good review man, pos'd.

Just some constructive criticism though.

After In Silico, probably most people have thought Pendulum

This reads awkwardly, you might want to consider rearranging the sentence to something like "After In Silico, most people probably thought Pendulum"
It is to say that the group was aiming to try something new

Probably should read That, but that's a minor one.
where they have revealed their superb signs of creativity

Remove the have and the sentence will read much better.
Immersion is probably Pendulum's most approachable album to date.

Confidence is important in a review. You'll get used to this as you gain more recognition in the Sputnik community, but if you're confident (without being arrogant or overly self-righteous) people will respect your opinion a lot more.
With songs such as "Salt In The Wounds", an epic blast-off to the record, far superior to "Slam", and "Immunize", using Pendulum's signature sound that invited even Prodigy extraordinaire Liam Howlett,

Remove all the commas except for the first and last one. Splitting up a sentence like that makes it harder to comprehend your point.
shouldv

Typo, change to should
over and over? Would've sounded

should be It would've sounded
Other than that, nothing wrong here, please carry on.

Unnecessary and it makes the review seem far less proffesional.
In an attempt of attracting a larger audience,

Should be at
(with the obvious exception of "The-most-in-your-face-song-on-the-album") "The Fountain", however,

Really odd to have brackets at the beginning of the sentence. Consider rewriting that sentence.
what a great fusion progressive rock and electronica could have been achieved.

Probably should read what a great fusion of progressive rock and electronica could have achieved.
re-written

Doesn't need the hyphen, though that is a very minor complaint.

Like I said, I enjoyed the review and I also pos'd. Please don't take those constructive criticisms as a personal attack, I'm simply trying to help you improve your writing.

It is not weak, but the album could've been shelved without it.

Just my opinion here, ignore it if you want, but I disagree. I think Watercolour is not only a weak song but a godawful one.

Eclectic
May 22nd 2010


3302 Comments


In the forums you mentioned a timezone difference, where exactly are you in the world?

Nomos
May 22nd 2010


838 Comments


Good review.
I think I liked the album a little more than you did. I agree on a few things, but, for example, one of my fav tracks on the album is Encoder. I also hated Salt in the Wounds.

But a very catchy album with a few forgettable songs. I love In Flames and didn't mind the collaboration too much.

bloc
May 22nd 2010


34847 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yay, it's back!

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

bodiesinflight57
May 23rd 2010


869 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Even Steven Wilson himself isn't 100% convinced with his contribution so I think you got the comment on that track spot on.

Decent review, I'll pos



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