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Review: Electric duo’s album creates ‘Another Eternity’ in half an hour

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Courtesy of 4AD

It’s with a hulking wave of bass that “Another Eternity,” the sophomore release from Canada-based electronic duo Purity Ring, begins. Deep and pulsing, this growl builds, finally blossoming into an eclectic, swirling collection of ethereal keys and synths — an electric torrent of sound that sustains itself brilliantly until the album’s very last minute.

Purity Ring has, since its 2012 release “Shrines,” acted as a sort of anomaly in the electronic music scene, bringing a musical aesthetic that marries pop-inspired musicality with distinctly dark and brooding instrumentation, designating itself into genres like witch house and future pop. With its newest release, the duo has departed a bit from the foreboding sound it established in “Shrines,” and the result is a less distinct, but still entirely fulfilling, musical experience.

Some listeners may say “Another Eternity” is more poppy than before, and they would be partially right. While tracks like the opener, “Heartsigh,” do share some sonic similarities to more mainstream acts, they mesh well with the group’s grumbling bass, leaving “Another Eternity” to best be described as “blackened pop.” With beat-maker Corin Roddick crafting intricate, trap-influenced instrumentals, the album feels as if Taylor Swift had been hung by her ankles and dipped in tar, and the result is a dark and sexy, though tragically short, 35-minute album.

What may serve as the album’s greatest strength, however, is its consistency in pacing. While many releases suffer from the mid-album slump, “Another Eternity” is unyieldingly enjoyable from start to finish. The explosive, raging “Flood on the Floor” is perhaps the album’s best track, acting as the energetic climax of the album with its unabashedly loud, dubstep-esque chorus. Following this track is “Sea Castle,” where vocalist Megan James’ wispy voice cools things off — a proper role for the album’s second-to-last track.

However, it’s difficult to designate one track in this shadowy pop record as the standout — be it the hazy “Repetition” or the relentlessly catchy “Begin Again,” “Another Eternity” is a markedly balanced offering that delivers a signature sound to boot. What Purity Ring has given to listeners is one of the most refreshing releases in recent memory, and while their work may end in a flash, each and every moment feels too well-crafted to hold it against them.

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