Pendulum
Immersion


4.0
excellent

Review

by fish CONTRIBUTOR (43 Reviews)
January 2nd, 2012 | 46 replies | 3,260 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Accessible, glossy and energetic drum 'n' bass with a little more to offer when explored fully

With Immersion debuting at #1 in the UK when it came out in mid-2010, Pendulum are now at the height of their popularity, and whilst their reputation is focused mainly around their energetic live shows and rock infused drum ‘n’ bass, people who pay deeper attention to Immersion will be rewarded with music which has obviously gone through a little more thought than might have originally been expected.

Immersion serves as a pure dance album and as an experimental one, doing well to (mostly) not compromise either. Of course, the underlying, pulsating, dance-inducing heartbeat is ever present, and is occasionally allowed to stampede free from other constraints to serve purely as dance music, resulting in the most intense and arguably some of the best tracks- namely, “The Vulture”, “The Island – Pt. II” and “Salt In The Wounds” (which comes bursting in through the fairytale-like opener of "Genesis" and boasts an immensely catchy melody to match its intensity.)

Before this intensity overstays its welcome, it’s toned down a bit to allow other aspects take the helm. “Witchcraft” opens with Rob Swire crooning a relatively soft vocal melody which is eventually interspersed with another synthesised, catchy melody. Lead single “Watercolour” is another catchy number centred mostly around the vocals (and is therefore probably the most accessible and pop-y track) but brings in a piano and brass section as an added touch. “The Island – Pt. I” is quite possibly the highlight of the entire album. Rob Swire’s vocals build up perfectly to the climax- yet another synthesised melody; immense, almost impossible to stay still to and probably the catchiest moment on the entire album. It eventually glides slowly into the second half of “The Island”, ‘Dusk’, the aforementioned explosive, dark and brash older brother of ‘Dawn’ to provide the perfect counterpart. The Prodigy’s Liam Howlett provides his know-how on “Immunize” to give the song a snarling punk sound, and In Flames give “Self Vs Self” an enjoyable metal-y edge. But one of the most interesting and best tracks comes in the form of “Set Me On Fire”, which interlaces electronic vigour with sampled vocals from Cocoa Tea’s “We Do The Killing” to give the song a reggae overtone that creates a vibe that doesn’t sound a million miles off traditional African music. Combined with an irregular and sinister underlying rhythm, “Set Me On Fire” is still fun, in line with the rest of “Immersion”, but dark, deep and strangely beautiful.

This dark vibe is apparent throughout the album in fact. Have you played Mass Effect? Have you been to the Afterlife nightclub on Omega? That’s where it feels like you’re transported to when you listen to this album. To those of you unfamiliar- Immersion’s vibe is energetic, futuristic, dark and anthemic. Its subtleties balance with the boldness and it provides enough diversity to deliver and amplify the great songwriting, whilst retaining the night-time dance-aspect and not trying to span so much as to leave the album in a confused mess. Even some of the weaker tracks, most notably “Crush”, “Under The Waves”, “Comprachicos” and “The Fountain” (the latter featuring Steven Wilson, whose vocals just about manage to avoid losing the spotlight), are still enjoyable to some degree or another and it’s only really with the final track, “Encoder”, that the music sounds dull and uninspired, passing by with hardly any effect on the listener.

Overall however, Pendulum have released an album that proves they’re deserving of their elevated position in the music world. There’d be nothing to stop you from treating Immersion just as club music (poking a little into rock music) to dance to, and at its heart that’s probably still its core purpose (it never strays extremely far from its origins), but that it can still successfully be more than that, only just feel a little bloated at its 15 track/67 minute length and still be accessible, fun and catchy is something to be admired; it’s probably harder than it looks to create music which is accessible to a large audience whilst at the same time delving into enough creative ideas to provide inventive and interesting music. Most tracks have something unique to offer as well as their near universal ability to induce a dance frenzy and provide a large, catchy melody; and those that don’t quite reach that are generally still fun. Here’s hoping to more of the same in the future.



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user ratings (564)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Tyrannic (4)
    Screw thinking, I'll be out dancing....

    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...

  • Peter K. Mark (3.5)
    Bombastic, vivid and aggressive, Immersion vows to shout loud enough to be heard by everyo...


Comments:Add a Comment 
fish.
Contributing Reviewer
January 2nd 2012



21768 Comments


naughty me, I briefly broke the 4th wall.

felt like reviewing this today. I know this came out a while ago, but I've been listening to it a lot in the past 6 or so months and its probably come as one of the easiest and most natural reviews to write for me, so far. it's also a pretty subjective review, even by most standards, and I apologise in advance dev if I've at all insulted your music intelligence.

I went to a party a couple of weeks ago, got high and drunk, put on Salt In The Wounds and headbanged to it. neck was sore for about 3 days.

also, constructive criticisms welcome as usual

Adabelle
January 2nd 2012



4253 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

My rating for this is probably swayed by the fact that my brother listened to it solidly (and nothing else) for about a year.

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
January 2nd 2012



21768 Comments


Haha I can see why that'd drive you nuts

Acanthus
January 2nd 2012



9537 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Still need to listen to this, I'm on their second album atm but the band's got some fun tracks for sure.

Digging: The Cure - The Head on the Door

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
January 2nd 2012



21768 Comments


I haven't actually heard their other albums in full

Rev
January 2nd 2012



9404 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

they're pretty shit, don't bother

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
January 2nd 2012



31053 Comments


and I apologise in advance dev if I've at all insulted your music intelligence.


Wut

Immersion serves both purposes without comprising the other surprisingly well.


What two purposes?

The underlying, pulsating, dance-inducing heartbeat is ever present


It's a dance album, so of course it's going to be there

and is occasionally allowed to stampede free,


What do you mean by this?

being over 6 ½ minutes long, feels more like 4 and competes


Did this really need to be mentioned?

as well as boasting an immensely catchy melody despite not containing any vocals at all.


Not all melodies come from vocals so this is also kinda moot

pop-py track)


Pop-py you say?

Dusk’, the aforementioned explosive, dark and brash older brother of ‘Dawn’


Aforementioned means that you have already mentioned the track - you haven't

The Prodigy’s Liam Howlett provides his snarling vocals


No, he does the beats (it's a joint effort) - Liam doesn't sing

metal-ly edge.


Metal-ly you say?

Digging: Marcel Dettmann - Fabric 77

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
January 2nd 2012



31053 Comments



they're pretty shit, don't bother


Hold Your Colour is a fucking fantastic album

Tyrael
January 2nd 2012



20798 Comments


Their debut is ace

good review

Rev
January 2nd 2012



9404 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Hold Your Colour is a fucking fantastic album

Their best? Easily

Fantastic? Ehhhhhh

bloc
January 2nd 2012



34735 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Album's got some goodies

Digging: Messiah - Choir of Horrors

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
January 2nd 2012



21768 Comments


"What two purposes?"
the dancing aspect and the more 'creative' aspect. Actually what happened here was that I mentioned this but later on I moved that bit and forgot to edit that line

"What do you mean by this"
those tracks are pretty energetic and seem purely for the purpose of dancing

"Aforementioned means that you have already mentioned the track - you haven't"
yeah I actually did

"Liam doesn't sing"
ah, my bad. could've sworn he did

what would you suggest to use as similes for pop and metal?

thanks, I'll make edits as soon as I can

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
January 2nd 2012



31053 Comments


those tracks are pretty energetic and seem purely for the purpose of dancing


Okay, but you say that right after you say: The underlying, pulsating, dance-inducing heartbeat is ever present, so what's the difference?

yeah I actually did


Oops my bad

ah, my bad. could've sworn he did


Thinking of Keith Flint maybe? Liam does the beats in The Prodigy

what would you suggest to use as similes for pop and metal?


The only thing wrong with what you had is this: Pop-py - say that out loud. it should just be pop-y etc

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
January 2nd 2012



31053 Comments


Their best? Easily

Fantastic? Ehhhhhh


Well it ain't no bansheebeat but shit, what is?

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
January 2nd 2012



21768 Comments


"Thinking of Keith Flint maybe?"
Yeah that'd be it. The vocals on that track have a similar sound to that raw edge Keith has. It fooled my simple mind

jefflebowski
January 2nd 2012



7568 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

this album is just lame

Digging: Tom Waits - Bone Machine

Rev
January 2nd 2012



9404 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Well it ain't no bansheebeat but shit, what is?

well said :p


but I guess I haven't listened to it in years, back when I listened to a bunch of pretty shit DnB, so I guess I still associate it with that *shrug*

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 2nd 2012



7163 Comments


All I know about this album is that Storm Thorgerson hated what the band did with the cover that he made for them.

jefflebowski
January 2nd 2012



7568 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

this is a storm thorgerson cover? christ, it looks like a default windows desktop or something

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 2nd 2012



7163 Comments


@ jefflebowski: http://www.stormthorgerson.com/

Click "Enter Site", then go to Page 2 of News lol.



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