Following their successful 2018 release, Violence, Editors have released The Blanck Mass Sessions,” an alternate version of the album. Here, British electronic artist Blanck Mass reimagines many of the already amazing tracks as well as a new unreleased song. Blanck Mass’ version of each song invoke a dark experimental electronic sound and pounding rhythm with exciting dance beats.
The song, “Cold,” is even stronger than its previous version. Still a vocally driven song, Blanck Mass fills out the instrumentation and rhythm with catchy synths riffs giving it a fuller sound and direction. The snare hits in the verses are distorted and crunchy and the dance rhythm added to the chorus drives the song to a whole other level. Even with the forlorn lyrics, “It’ a lonely life, a long and lonely life,” the new beats and synths added make you want to get out of your seat and dance. All of these additions make this an exciting improvement on a song that was already awesome.
Among the track list, the song “Hallelujah” differs most from its original version. On Violence, it’s heavily guitar driven with both distorted guitars and acoustic strumming. In the Blanck Mass Sessions, it has a much different interpretation. The guitars are almost completely gone, and in their place are a symphony of different synth tones and electronic sounds. The instrumental synth barrage which makes up the bulk of the chorus are the right level of melodic and chaotic, and the remaining guitars surprisingly work well alongside the new sound.
Changing “Hallelujah” from a headbanger to a electronic dance song is definitely an interesting choice and it pays off. This song shows the most separation between the two albums but displays the beauty both versions share.
“Barricades” didn’t previously appear on Violence, and it’s a great addition to The Blanck Mass Sessions. The 80s-esque synth tones and baritone sung vocals have a Depeche Mode feel with a modern twist. The chorus is catchy as well as energizing and really shows Blanck Mass’ genius when it comes to instrumentation and synth tones. The rhythm is full of more crunchy snare hits and blasting hi hats which are relentless until the end of the song. It’s an exciting addition and a quintessential song to the Editor’s distinct sound.
Overall, The Blanck Mass Sessions is an improvement on what was already a great record. Deciding which versions of the song are “better,” is completely subjective, but Blanck Mass’ take on each song adds a unique quality to the Editor’s style. The feeling of a band is still preserved even with the electronic elements added, so Editor fans will love hearing their favorite tracks reimagined.