Review Summary: Set your sights for the sun; try not to exceed the speed limit.
There's two ways I can start talking about this album, or more so the band Pendulum, and I'm gonna do both, bear with me.
Now, I'm not gonna write an entire opus about me finding out about the group, so I'm gonna spare the trivial details. I bought the game Need For Speed Undercover a summer or two ago (huge recommendation to listen to the soundtrack). I played it (obviously) and thoroughly enjoyed the music. But there was this one song, or rather two songs that made winning a race truly euphoric. So I looked up the songs, being _The Tempest_ and _Granite_ and fell in love. Boom, there. That's how I started listening to Pendulum.
Now these guys have been making music since I've been ***ting diapers. Starting around 2002, these Aussie's made some fine Drum and Bass music. In 2005 they decided to release _Hold Your Colour_, their full-on debut record. Two years later the song _Blood Sugar_ gets released, with a notable amount of guitar. This song together with _Axle Grinder_ replaced _Another Planet_ and _Still Grey_ on a rerelease of the album in 2007. This, in hindsight, was a way of announcing a shift in style. A year later, _In Silico_, this (almost) masterpiece that I haven't properly mentioned up until now, gets released. The fans are angry, dissapointed, or so I've heard. You must understand that I'm finding out about this like, 10 years later. Many people didn't like the the fact that they were aiming to be an actual band rather than a bunch of music producers. I didn't and still don't understand the hate. This makes such a genre much more human. The drums are still as fast-paced as they were in 2005, only now an actual human is trying hardest not to completely wreck his drum kit. Long story short (not really), I didn't understand and thought it was great.
The album opener, _Showdown_ , tells you all you need to know; this is gonna be one big adrenaline rush from start to finish. Great chord progression, fast as hell, what more do you need for an album opener? If I may give one point of critique, it's that the only lyrics are in the beginning and one "Here we go again" halfway through the track. I could've definetely worked with more lyrics, 5 minutes of instrumental is long for a rock/dnb-group, a little too long. The next song slows down a bit, giving us more of a breakbeat tempo, and gives us what we wanted from the first track, lyrics. I'll say it now before forgetting it later, the lyrics are pretty good on this record, they do their job excellently, don't expect, like, Tool level lyrics or something. _Different's_ verses gets followed up by a somewhat messy stack of sounds it seems (at first), but overall the song is great.
Track 3, _Propane Nightmares_ gives us the best of both worlds. Excellent sounds, excellent lyrics, absolutely stellar. _Visions_ is this weird robotic alt. rock ballad-thingy. Instrumentation is great, the way it's produced and it vocals however make it one of the weaker tracks on the album, not that it's saying much.
_Midnight Runner_ is exactly giving you what you expect from a track called _Midnight Runner_. It's mostly instrumental, but the instrumentals are really solid. The vocal chops on it make it a more "experimental" Pendulum song.
_The Other Side_ is weird. Really weird. But in an awesome way. It has this female robotic voice (straight from Portal) saying this "there's nothing to fear, your saviors are here" stuff,leading into the chorus, which is Rob Swire singing with heavy amounts of autotune. I've seen them doing it live (on DVD) with a metal tube glued onto the mic, being inserted into his mouth. It's freaky, it's simple. You could consider it cringe-worthy maybe, but it's a real charmer in my opinion. The same goes for _Mutiny_ although it has none of the weird autotune. The song gives off a pirate vibe. It's called _Mutiny_ for a reason, am I right? It really sounds like a bunch of robots setting sail to collect some booty.
_9.000 Miles_ is where the album begins to wor on closure. It's the calm before the storm. Great acoustics on a 3-digit BPM, vocals, while minimal are good too. The thing with this track is, is that the intrumentals switch up quite a lot, unlike with _Showdown_. It's all about the time, timing and place. because next we get a slightly louder track, _Granite_ , the one from that one game I talked about earlier in the review. _Granite_ is a hit. It is what Pendulum tried with this album, making (pop) rock-infused Drum and Bass music, and this song is what came of it. Pendulum are proud of it. It's a new dawn!
These songs, while excellent on their own, were meant to warm you up to the epic last track on here. A 7-minute long prog-rock pop-rock metal mix of pure awesomeness. The way this song has it's "breakdown" is euphoric. This song alone is the reason you should buy or at least listen to this album. Every minute of the seven total is really necessary and makes damn sure you think the same.
Phew, that was pretty much it, my first review. It's probably one big cluster*** with awful pacing, but I just wanted to write, in detail, something nice about this banger from 11 years ago.