A week after news of a third album on the way Nov. 6 (aptly entitled “III”) comes Crystal Castles’ return to the Newport this Wednesday. When the terrifying electro-punk duo brought their strobes and synths to the same venue last year, they laid waste in impressive fashion; Alice Glass cavorting to Ethan Kath’s ominously icy productions so fearlessly that an exorcism seemed in order.
The group has described its new material as “bleak,” which means it pretty much sounds like the old material, right? Not exactly. They traded in all previous keyboards and pedals for what Kath calls “a new palette of sounds,” and they recorded straight to tape, no computers allowed.
Tweaks aside, early singles “Plague” and “Wrath of God” still sound sleek, sinister and unmistakably like the work of Crystal Castles, and it’s hard to imagine this year’s show will be any less entrancing, especially with HEALTH and Kontravoid opening up.