Crystal Castles - (III)
Critic Score
Based on 40 reviews
2012 Ratings: #387 / 1105
User Score
Based on 477 ratings
2012 Ratings: #180
Liked by 26 people
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In toning down the shock and awe, they’ve revealed the beating heart at the centre of their work.


There’s something to be said of their “if it ain’t broke” methods, and this latest entry is a testament to their skill. Make no mistake: (III) is a great album. 


(III) is far and above the most human of the band’s three records.

The 405

(III) may not be as shocking or challenging as I or even II, but it does mark progression for Crystal Castles, with some highly impressive dance tracks in one aspect, and moments of haunting tenderness in another.

Their third eponymous album, known for reasons of convenience as ‘(III)’, maintains their high quality threshold
Spill Magazine

Leaving previous copyright issues behind, Crystal Castles (III) deals with significantly less sampling, making the album distinguishably innovative, in a Crystal Castles kind of way.

The Independent
As usual, the listener can barely make out Glass's impassioned shrieks, but one cannot mistake the apocalyptic mood and intent.
The Arts Desk
Canadian duo's third is their best so far.
God Is in the TV
The Canadian duo have come along way since their debut back in 2008 with ‘III‘ being their most mature outing yet, hopefully for my sake IX will see the band going down the death metal route.
NOW Magazine
At that speed, the material comes across like some kind of mutant goth R&B, which sounds way better than it has any right to.

Crystal Castles aren't as cold as they appear to be, but they are calculating-(III) is an expertly produced album that, at just nearly 40 minutes, leaves fans wanting more.

The Guardian

The most affecting songs on III don't sound like a band raging at the outside world, but rather experiencing a very personal kind of misery.

Crystal Castles have delivered their most consistent album yet.

The success of (III) is how it brings you close enough to the evil that men do to be shocked, repulsed, and affected by it.

Drowned in Sound

I still can’t make up my mind whether Crystal Castles peaked too early and are now coasting, or if this is their new peak.

Consequence of Sound

III is less playful than the duo’s previous couple of offerings, but it’s thematic mood is much tighter and more fully realized.


(III) is the sound of two people jumping off the edge of the world by their own free will.

No Ripcord

Rarely is an electronic album like sparked with such radical confidence.

This is Crystal Castles' most serious set of songs yet, with a darker tone and streamlined sound that dovetails with its motifs of outsiders, injustices, and revolution.
Tiny Mix Tapes
While retaining some semblance of a structural foundation, in Crystal Castles’ case an “electronic” and “pop” foundation, the duo attempts to push its structural limitations to the exact point where the outside touches its body, porousness to parasites and contamination.
The Line of Best Fit

With III, Kath and Glass have refined their sound to a point of supreme clarity and confidence, but its progression is essentially conservative.

Spectrum Culture

III is appropriately titled, as it’s a progression for the band, but one that is also inextricably linked to its predecessors.

Pretty Much Amazing

(III) is worthwhile in that it is an interesting take on dance music, yet that doesn’t seem quite enough for a group predicated on delivering an onslaught of emotional energy.

FACT Magazine

In running time and number of songs, (III) may be their shortest album, but it’s also their most cohesive personal statement yet.

Alternative Press
On their third full-length, Canadian duo Crystal Castles have drank deeper still from the well of discontent, resulting in 12 tracks that paint an even bleaker picture than their heretofore already grim worldview.

It isn't what you'd expect with Crystal Castles. Normally you're left wondering at what point in proceedings they're going to try and set fire to your carpet.

The Skinny
In a remarkable and somewhat disappointing move, their third album sees the band calling in that debt, and aping the sound of several bands who followed in their wake.
The Fly

A quantum leap it ain’t – and Glass could do with putting her fangs back in – but ‘(III)’ has just enough up its sleeve to keep Crystal Castles on track.

Slant Magazine
More importantly, it’s resulted in a dreary equalization of their aesthetic, one which not only removes most of its distinguishing characteristics, but kills the fun spot-the-sound-effect guessing game of their first two albums.
Under The Radar

What’s left is moodier and muddier, overly dark and rarely danceable, with little of the excitement or energy we’re used to from this band.


The third record titled Crystal Castles is considerably less inviting and less extreme than its eponymous predecessors.


Crystal Castles try to go all deep on us, but instead make a flat and boring record that loses what made the band so great in the first place.

A.V. Club

Instead of anarchist dance jams full of crunchy 8-bit noise, (III) is more like a static-filled radio station fading in and out of range. 

The Needle Drop

While Crystal Castles continues writing some decent electropop tunes, on III the Toronto duo sees fit to decorate all of them with generic drum timbres and an overabundance of reverb.

The Observer

Now though – giving strength to that gloomy notion that most bands get more boring as they go on – it sounds more like music to get off your face to; there's very little on this third LP that could qualify as "experimental".


This record was the calm before the storm for Crystal Castles. The storm being, of course, the really awful follow-up album, and all the allegations against Ethan Kath, the famed producer of CC. However, we must accept some songs in here are truly fantastic, regardless of what kind of awful person produced them.

Plague, the opening track, is a great dance song with some really off-kilter drums. The chorus in here is so explosive and anxiety-inducing it's really great.

It is followed by one of ... read more


lowkey their best


Crystal Castles - III (2012)

10 year anniversary today (Released Nov. 12th 2012)

My personal favorite of Crystal Castles is probably their debut, but this might be runner-up. Very interesting and consistent electronic record. Sounds like they mature a bit with each release.

Plague - 74
Kerosene - 80 ☆
Wrath of God - 77
Affection - 76
Pale Flesh - 73
Sad Eyes - 68
Insulin - 37
Transgender - 73
Violent Youth - 74
Telepath - 70
Mercenary - 70
Child I Will Hurt You - 69


not as great as 1 and 2 but still solid.


yeah... this didn't do much for me.


the drop in quality is insane. I loved the first two records even tho (II) fell short for me in some tracks but the good tracks on that album were so amazing that they balanced it out. know there are like 4 songs i liked and the rest was really meh. it wasnt just the instrumentals that were lacking for me but also the vocals were for a first time really weak especially when comparing it to the albums before. Ultimatly i think (III) is a giant step backwards and i actually think they should have ... read more

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Track List

  1. Plague 
  2. Kerosene 
  3. Wrath of God 
  4. Affection 
  5. Pale Flesh 
  6. Sad Eyes 
  7. Insulin 
  8. Transgender 
  9. Violent Youth 
  10. Telepath 
  11. Mercenary 
  12. Child I Will Hurt You
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Added on: September 26, 2012