Listening through it now. Very good in places.
Some tracks retain that pulsating undercurrent and sprinkles of glitch here and there but there's a considerably heavier element to their sound than before. The vocals are often so far back in the mix they sound lost. I get this image of Alice Glass trapped in some black and purple swirling vortex, fighting to get out, and I'll be honest: the idea is kinda giving me a semi.
Ahem. The album feels naturally more together as it's not an amalgamation of new ideas, old spazzy Myspace demos and various 12"s, as the first one was. Though I realised their debut was fucking good recently upon re-listen.
Some tracks that stood out: Celestica, Baptism, Empathy, Suffocation and Vietnam. The last four appear to be the most obviously linked to the first album, especially closer I Am Made of Chalk which does that gurgle of dying keyboards fairly standardly. In fact I'd go as far, on first listen, to say those last four/five tracks are a fair bit weaker than the rest of the album (except Intimate I think). Still good mind. They could've cut a bit of flab from it but it sounds strong on balance from first listen.