The Dillinger Escape Plan
One Of Us Is The Killer
02. When I Lost My Bet
03. One Of Us Is The Killer
04. Hero of the Soviet Union
05. Nothing’s Funny
06. Understanding Decay
07. Paranoia Shields
08. CH 375 268 277 ARS
09. Magic That I Held You Prisoner
11. The Threat Posed By Nuclear Weapons
[Sumerian/Party Smasher Inc.]
At this point in their careers, one would expect seminal mathcore giants The Dillinger Escape Plan to slow down a bit and fully embrace their inner Faith No More more extensively. This isn’t necessarily to the fault of Dillinger or an expectation that they’ve created and fostered in themselves, but is an expectation based on real trends with similarly influential bands who have risen in fallen in the decades past their initial breakout. If you take a look at some of the metal’s biggest bands — In Flames and Opeth come to mind for their respective subgenres — it’s not uncommon for bands to soften with age. Needless to say, this doesn’t apply to The Dillinger Escape Plan, who in their fifth album One Of Us Is The Killer are at their most volatile since 1999’s Calculating Infinity.
Though, instead of the raw chaos their highly influential debut album created, the band have become much more mature and grandiose with their complicated rhythmic intricacies. The opening of ‘Prancer‘ calls back to the classic ‘43% Burnt’ with stabbing dissonance and anthemic hooks that will sure enough become a live staple, ‘Hero of the Soviet Union’ blends odd-ball melodies with pissed off technical hardcore in true Dillinger fashion, and the band explores an all-out instrumental assault via the mind-bending ‘CH 375 268 277 ARS.’ Elsewhere, the single ‘When I Lost My Bet’ displays an exhilarating jazzcore flamboyancy that the band rarely shows these days. The record is likely the most chaotic, technical, and sinister Puciato-fronted Dillinger Escape Plan record to date.
There’s a bit of cognitive dissonance when it comes to One of Us… in that while the album feels “reigned in” in the sense that there’s surprisingly little in the way of power pop “mathcore boy band” material a la ‘Black Bubblegum’, Dillinger have stepped up their game when it comes to their oppressive hardcore sound in a manner that is wildly unpredictable on initial listen. One Of Us… isn’t totally without the carefree yet tasteful rock track though; the title track and ‘Nothing’s Funny’ in particular are more straightforward Faith No More-tinged tracks that are massive earworms. Even when the band gets catchy, they don’t get overtly friendly or experimental, so don’t expect tracks like ‘Parasitic Twins’, ‘Mouth of Ghosts,’ or ‘Unretrofied.’
In this regard, One Of Us… feels like a collection of tracks that blend the best of both worlds in a more cohesive fashion. Where tracks like Option Paralysis‘ ‘I Wouldn’t If You Didn’t’ had strikingly different movements in the chaos vs chorus dynamic, more songs on One Of Us Is The Killer successfully blend melody into corrosive mathcore, as in ‘Magic That I Held You Prisoner,’ wherein Puciato finds the space to croon over inventive and abstract harmonic riffing. There’s still a fair bit of real compartmentalizing as explored above, but the band have inched closer to finding an all-encompassing style that matches the haunting and the vitriolic.
One Of Us Is The Killer is patently Dillinger with few missteps; ‘Crossburner‘ is uncharacteristically long in the context of the whole record and taps the brakes a bit before an explosive finale in ‘The Threat Posed By Nuclear Weapons,’ for instance. Some newer fans may miss the poppier and more experimental side of Dillinger, but the band make up for it with some newfound tenacity and unbridled rage that further establishes the band as one of the biggest and most influential acts in extreme progressive music. After listening to this record, the title’s significance becomes evident; One Of Us Is The Killer is one of the most destructive albums in not only 2013, but in the scope of Dillinger’s entire discography thus far.
The Dillinger Escape Plan – One Of Us Is The Killer gets…