Metalcore and Mathcore are the two genres that most frequently split the metal community right in two: some love it its complexity and mixture with Hardcore Punk, others loathe it. But The Dillinger Escape Plan are one of the few bands that always had a great amount of fans and relatively small amount of haters. ‘One of Us Is The Killer’ is the band’s fifth studio album, and is what some call a game-changer: by far, it is the most mature album of theirs yet, their first LP that has greatness all over it, without ever getting lost into pretentiousness or instrumental wankery.
For starters, the production on ‘One Of Us Is The Killer’ is some of the most lush and polished heard this year, that however doesn’t let the distortion and the heaviness lose the fierce momentum that is characteristic of Dillinger Escape Plan. But the big bonus that makes this album really stand out is a well-developed sense of melody and an overall more mature level of songwriting. Then, there’s the aspect for which the band risked the most, as for every album, to sound pretentious or over-the-top: the Mathcore side of the equation, the odd-time signatures and improbable riffs that usually sound way too over-studied. While a lot of thought was undoubtedly put on these riffs as well, here these flashy moments are fun to listen to and obviously showcase a great deal of talent on behalf of the musicians, even because they miraculously sound spontaneous and well-placed, with the exception of a few spots here and there.
There is not one dull moment throughout the short period of time in which this album prolongs into, not only thanks to the catchiness and all those positive points I mentioned earlier, but because of a quality most albums these days lack: a flawless, perfect flow, that seems to understand when enough is enough, when it’s time to turn things down, or slow the tempo down to a more straight-forward groove. Right off the bat you get two heavy, fast and Mathcore-to-the-core tracks that immediately grab the listeners attention: but the title track right after turns it down a notch, and for the first time in the album some melody is introduced. It’s not necessarily a loud-quiet formula all of the time, because there’s also the fast and Mathy tracks rigorously alternated with ones that manifest quite a bit of melody: ‘Hero Of The Soviet Union’ followed by ‘Nothing’s Funny’, followed by the multi-faceted ‘Understanding Decay’ is an example of the clever pacing OFUITK pulls off. As far as further individual highlights go, ‘Paranoia Shields’ is almost a radio-friendly metal track, while ‘Crossburner’ slows things down in tempo but not in volume.
Probably one of the few Mathcore albums in existence that manages to sound fierce and technical and at the same time that gives the impression that it was an effortless achievement for the musicians. With an excellent boost in songwriting and sense of melody, Dillinger Escape Plan now have the respect they deserve.