Blood, viscera, dismembered bodies… this is the material of which the songs of the Edmontonian duo Purity Ring are made. WOMB is the third album of the band that gained notice with Shrines in 2012. Megan James’ sweet voice continues to whisper macabre lyrics over experimental electronic music designed by Corin Roddick. Death and love, horror and pop, acid and sweetness: the way in which the tandem marries the extremes is not without interest.
Unfortunately, intriguing as it may be, this approach ends up turning out to be a recipe. Title after title, the duo wade us into the same bloody, glittering waters. A few intriguing finds in the production rekindle interest from time to time, but overall, Purity Ring only prove how thin their formula is. The sound design of these songs ends up becoming one-dimensional, and James’ limited vocal range doesn’t help. Five years after Another Eternity, one would have expected more, but WOMB picks things up exactly where they left off before the break, and doesn’t bring anything new to the band’s music, which is hardly out of its comfort zone. Paradoxical for a band that, since its inception, has been busy cultivating discomfort.