Death Magic

HEALTH - Death Magic
Critic Score
Based on 25 reviews
2015 Ratings: #446 / 770
User Score
Based on 95 ratings
2015 Ratings: #287
August 7, 2015 / Release Date
LP / Format
Loma Vista / Label
Synthpunk / Genres
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CRITIC REVIEWS

91
A.V. Club

A monstrous album on which its electronic and industrial mystique has matured to represent an absorption of the band’s discography, injected with a serum of growth hormones.

90
Loud and Quiet
So what are HEALTH nowadays, then? Noisy pop band? Danceable noise outfit? No idea. They don’t need to worry about taking an ass-kicking any more, though.
90
The Line of Best Fit
Unlike several of their peers (Iceage excluded, mind) who have rushed records, HEALTH have diligently crafted an astounding pop record...one which could be enjoyed for the next six years, if necessary.
84
Sputnikmusic

Six years in a gestation that seemed uncertain in both length and direction, Death Magic finally arrives as a logical progression for a band that always had a pop heart buried under all the scuzz, black and festering though it may be.

80
NME
On the whole ‘Death Magic’ makes a grander statement than its more rudimentary predecessors. It sounds like Health finally know what they want.
80
FasterLouder

The old Health are still undeniably in there, with an undercurrent of the uncompromising rawness of the first two LPs retained throughout the record, but the Death Magic sound, a synthesis of industrial, techno, noise and electro pop, stands confidently on its own two feet.

80
DIY
The teeth still gleam, the jaws still gnash and they’re never more than drop of blood away from an unhinged feeding frenzy.
80
Clash
The battle between melody and noise at the heart of 'Death Magic' is a fascinating one, and the twelve songs on which it plays out are damn near bulletproof. Welcome to the most terrifying pop album of 2015.
80
Alternative Press

The shift toward less discord and more opportunity for a listener to sing along may initially throw off a seasoned HEALTH fan, but it is sure to introduce new ears to one of the most accessible noise bands of the last decade.

78
Pitchfork

On Death Magic, the band finally embraces the pop impulses that seem to have always been lurking in their DNA.

75
Under The Radar

Here they are again, maybe smashing their usual double-header of noise album à remix album into both at once, for once, the edgy cuts and the cutting edge and—cinema, the uncanny valley, dead eyes, pure pop, DEATH MAGIC.

70
No Ripcord

Death Magic may be an attempt at civilizing a group of freewheeling improvisers, though their prolific mastery of sound engineering proves they’re certainly on a creative high point.

70
Exclaim!
Though some fans will no doubt be put off by the band's new direction, anything more than a cursory listen reveals that HEALTH haven't made some great leap into the pop void. Rather, they've more fully embraced something that was always inherent to their music in the first place.
70
AllMusic

While fans of HEALTH's previous onslaughts might be disappointed by the preponderance of hooks and emotion on display here, Death Magic presents a 2010s version of HEALTH that fits in with the likes of the Soft Moon and Blanck Mass while delivering their most accessible music to date.

70
Drowned in Sound
Their rampaging style of yore feels a little constrained and tamed by the booming production and ‘nice’ singing, but at the same time they are beginning to write some pretty stupendous ‘proper’ songs.
70
PopMatters

For once, the band’s chemistry between melody and noise is the driving force of their sound, and for every beautiful moment that pops out of the record, there’s another disturbing or uncomfortable one to match it.

60
The Skinny

Some will miss the disjointed playfulness and unpredictability of their initial output, but there's something to be said for Death Magic in that this is the most human HEALTH have ever sounded.

60
Tiny Mix Tapes

While HEALTH and Get Color were cohesive collections of songs that created a snapshot in time of where the artists were when creating them, listening to Death Magic feels like we’re seeing not just the band they are currently, but all the bands they could be.

50
Consequence of Sound
It’s not entirely without destructive force; it just trades a good deal of it in favor of sleeker focus.
40
NOW Magazine
Until now, HEALTH never seemed not to surprise, and fans will surely be divided over whether this is a maturation of their sonic identity or an abandonment of it.
33
Pretty Much Amazing

HEALTH’s commitment to making the brain flush dopamine through sensory overload is unfailingly undermined at every turn by their commitment to an aesthetic that’s oppressive, suffocating, bordering on malevolent.

AmericaanSpirit
78
A modern dance take on their older sound that pays off in small amounts. The more club tracks seem out of place for a record of their usual standards, and the chaotic moments only feel like homages to their past.

BEST TRACKS: Life, Crimewave II, Hurt Yourself, New Coke, Stonefist
Feedme120
70
*moans
75
I fucking love this thing... sometimes...
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END OF YEAR LISTS

#17/Treble
#43/Pigeons & Planes
#45/Blare
#47/Noisey
#52/Drowned in Sound

Track List

  1. VICTIM
  2. STONEFIST
  3. MEN TODAY
  4. FLESH WORLD (UK)
  5. COURTSHIP II
  6. DARK ENOUGH
  7. LIFE
  8. SALVIA
  9. NEW COKE
  10. L.A. LOOKS
  11. HURT YOURSELF
  12. DRUGS EXIST
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Added on: April 26, 2015