Review Summary: If allowed, Polymorphic Code will reveal a wholly new and exciting cosmos, one that is beseeching listeners and musicians alike to explore it.
Attempting to combine metal and electronic into one hodge podge record is an extremely risky action, one that can have disastrous consequences. History has not been known to take too kindly to artists that delve into “electrometal”, so it was with extreme risk that Remi Gallego, mastermind behind The Algorithm, embarked on a journey to create a competent and fluid combination of the diverse dynamics that are heavily prominent in both metal and electronic. Fortunately, the end result is well worth the gamble, and ultimately shows that it is indeed possible to successfully amalgamate the two divergent genres.
What's truly remarkable about Polymorphic Code
is the ease and fluidity with which it is able to integrate different aspects of the electronic and metal universes. Almost every transition and breakdown feels completely natural and unforced. While it is true that there exists some chunks that definitely could have been excluded, or at the very least rewritten, this comes with the territory of Gallego's huge undertaking of practically writing an album that's never been done before. This is, effectively, new ground for a musician, especially for one as inexperienced as the 22 year old. However, The Algorithm carries itself with confidence and boldness, something that is refreshing to see in the self proclaimed “djentstep” world.
It's easy to go on about the variance and seamlessness of Polymorphic Code
but there are certainly a few missteps throughout the duration of the record. One could point out the occasional moment that breaks the overall flow of the music (“Access Granted” is a prime example of this), or wonder at the fact that “Panic”, the last song on the album, ranges across 12 minutes, which could be considered too long winded for what this record is trying to achieve. Nevertheless, these are minute distractions from an otherwise surprisingly solid album. Truth be told, it's hard not to immediately enjoy the album. It almost begs to be liked, but not enough to cross the boundary of pleading with the audience.
The brightest spots in this shining achievement are the various references that Gallego dexterously permeates amongst the sheer madness of the music. Midi and chiptune are to be found all over the record, most notable at the very beginning of “Null”. These hark back to the days of 80s style arcade cabinet machines, and allows the listener to reminisce of his or her experiences with the emphasized style. Additionally, the riff in the middle of “Warp Gate Exploit” is by far the most effective use of guitar in the entire album. While simple, it still meshes incredibly well with the numerous background noises that it coincides with, developing a perfect atmosphere that remains for the continuation of the album.
It's always amusing to see the media portray music in the future as trance-electro-pop-whatever. Whether it be in movies or video games, the "future" is always characterized by huge buildings, shiny objects, bright lights, and electronic music. However, while it is incredibly hard to imagine that the only thing humans will search for in their musical endeavors is electronic based, Polymorphic Code
hints at what could be in store for both the electronic and progressive metal genres. And if the success of this record is anything to go off of, it's more than likely that one will witness a lot more crossovers between the two eclectic and esoteric genres.