Trauma looms heavily over the brooding PREY/IV, Alice Glass’s first full-length solo album as they move on from a complicated musical and personal past.
“I don’t believe in redemption”, Glass feigns resistance to her chaotic past as she continues to state hard truths, “don’t talk to your friends/don’t talk to your family”. Anthematically gothic by nature and cinematically pulsing tracks like “Pinned Beneath Limbs” drive hard in a minimalistic yet impactful sonic state. Glass’s message reign clear through each track as she transitions into a role of power spiked with confusion. “Tied to trauma inside”, Glass reclaims a fragile but stern role for herself. Openly working through her trauma through each track, inviting listeners into her vulnerability while calling out abusers “Are you the slaughtered lamb”, as they clearly play the victim, feigning reality and responsibility.
Sonically PREY/IV treats us to a polished vocal performance in comparison to Glass’s musical past, with driving beats and fast hard-hitting techno-inspired synth bass. The album emits an energetic state of repose, anxiety and distrust. ‘Everybody Else’ plays on childlike tines with xylophone-like synths playing the call to the answer of hard kick and bass drops. Lyrically the same juxtaposition plays out as Glass debates the shame and guilt survivors often feel working through their trauma.
Smooth dubstep elements are riddled throughout the “PREY/IV”, sharply falling beside knife-like stabbing synth and gothic-church inspired soundscapes. As Glass moves into a stance of power, she imbues her words with impact over intent as she laments “cowards/walking through the fields of prey/stop pretending you’re not” in ‘The Hunted’. “Now when you’re suffering/I’ll smile”, Glass relishes in the turning of tables most powerfully claiming herself back “I’m stronger than you”.
Glass appears to play on the past, present and future, sometimes lingering in the spot she stands in, the work she’s done, and sometimes reading from the point of view of an abuser. The selfish denial that victimizer’s claim as they convince themselves and others in order to rectify their injustices and hide under a cloak of lies.
‘Witch Hunt’ leans into softer tones for its verses, leaving room for repose. Choruses stab sharp incisions of trance and dubstep with Glass’s lead vocals laying waste “tell me what you want to hear”. Ambitiously it is the most dynamic track on the album, leaving Glass room to continue to grow both musically and personally.
Melodically Glass never fails to hit her mark, as she dynamically moves from soft whispers to her signature screaming leads. Anguish and angst drive the trauma Glass works through with every statement given in purity. ‘I Trusted You’ shows Glass and partner Jupiter Keyes at their dynamic best, polished, slowly driving through a dub stirred beat — showing vulnerability and room for prosperity even in its melodrama.
PREY/IV is undoubtedly a departure from Glass’s past as the last Crystal Castles album she was involved in was titled “III”. The album is an account of intense trauma-based work, partial closure (or disconnect), and the growth encompassing that trauma. Violent, melodic, and powerful — Glass reclaims her stance and narrative with confidence in a cinematic, trance and dub-step driven work of cathedral/goth art.
Pre order by PREY/IV Alice Glass HERE
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