As a disclaimer, I am not in any way an expert on bands whose primary genre tag ends in '-core'. However, I know a fantastic album when I hear it, and the Dillinger Escape Plan's latest album, 2013's One of Us is the Killer, is beyond even that.
It's been clear since their 1999 debut Calculating Infinity that the Dillinger Escape Plan have an affinity for the technical, writing music that takes such precision and musicianship that it solidified them in the ranks of the best in avant garde metal almost immediately. However, One of Us is the Killer, while no less intense, is a decidedly less obtuse release, putting much less of their focus on labyrinthine composition for its own sake and instead putting a higher emphasis on the more traditional compostional aspects of their sound.
The songs themselves, while frequently sidetracking through mechanical masturbation or algospastic descant, always return to something readily recognizable. The Dillinger Escape Plan have no intention of letting you get off that easily, however. Despite their undeniable catchiness, the construction of their melodic lines is almost anamorphic, requiring an intense amount of concentration to be heard properly. Heck, even the relatively simple title track has random spats of rhythmic pandemonium just to make sure that it receives your full attention. But as soon as you have sorted out what you're hearing, it's easy to see that this is some of the most addictive music of their entire career.
Despite the abrasiveness of the band's complexity at first blush, One of Us is the Killer is positively drooling with obsessive flair, giving it a noticeable bent for being put on repeat no matter what your musical inclination. Quite literally every song on this album is an envious accomplishment, though even amongst those, tracks like "Prancer", "The Threat Posed by Nuclear Weapons", and the blistering "Crossburner" stand out for being more than just satisfactory. My personal favourite is the centrepiece "Paranoid Shields", a track with more melodic hooks in the space of four minutes than most bands produce in a full album.
Don't get me wrong, One of Us is the Killer is by no measure an easy album to listen to. But it's still the most manifest out of the Dillinger Escape Plan's entire catalogue (save possibly the sordid affair that was Plagiarism), and without a doubt the best album yet from a group that seems, quite rightfully, unstoppable. Make sure you hear this one.
Recommended if you enjoy: Down I Go, Iwrestledabearonce, Atrox
9.0 / 10
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