The Dillinger Escape Plan
One of Us Is the Killer


3.5
great

Review

by Adrian Hertzberg CONTRIBUTOR (31 Reviews)
June 19th, 2013 | 53 replies | 3,500 views


Release Date: 05/14/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Dillinger Escape plan jumps the shark, but while doing a sweet backflip or something.

Over the years, fans of The Dillinger Escape Plan have come to expect a little something different with each new album. Though they almost certainly ran the risk of alienating large sections of their large fanbase with each new direction they embarked upon, it has always been an admirable quality. Here is a group that, among the dozens of generic wannabe bands within the metalcore scene, has always dared to think outside the box and challenge the pre-conceived notions of what their music could be. With their first set of EPs and their debut full-length, 1999’s Calculating Infinity, TDEP introduced the world to their distinctly chaotic style – their seemingly random time signatures, angular guitar riffing, and disjointed song structures. However, not content to be satisfied with what they had achieved, their next album saw the chaos subside, if only partially, in favour of more traditional song-structures with powerful choruses and crushing walls of guitar. This trend continued to carry forward, with each new album carving out its own unique niche within their spectrum of musical styles.

For better or for worse, this desire to constantly change has always defined their career. Each successive album was, if nothing else, interesting at the very least. They never retraced ground that had already been covered and were always progressing into new territories of sonic exploration. This is precisely why One of Us Is the Killer fails to create as much interest as any of their previous works: for the first time in their career, TDEP have released an album easily comparable to their back catalogue. I’m not one to fault a band for settling into a groove, or for reliving past successes (if the shoe fits…), but it really does come across as a negative when talking about TDEP. “When I Lost My Bet” sounds like a b-side from Calculating Infinity, just with a little more studio sheen, and technicality that sounds more forced rather than naturally flowing. The title track feels like a continuation of their most recent album Option Paralysis with its disjointed themes and eclectic song structure. These comments aren’t necessarily negative assessments – both songs are great for what they are – but rather just observations that appear troubling when accumulated together over the entire album. One of Us Is the Killer is actually a very satisfying listen, and it definitely delivers just as much technicality, heaviness, and catchiness as one would expect. The problem is that, in the end, we’re left with an album without its own identity when compared to the rest of their discography. It almost plays like a compilation record: displaying all that the band has become known for over the years, but unfortunately not really bringing anything new to the table.

Taken for what it is, outside of the context of their impressive discography, One of Us Is the Killer is surely a success. The passion and intensity is palpable, and the skill with which the songs are played is top-notch. The vocals are dynamic, covering a pretty wide range from melodic cleans to high-pitched shrieks, and while the lyrics are decidedly missable, that’s always been this band’s biggest weakness, so no points are really lost there. In the end, it all comes down to the fact that this is the first time in over fifteen years that The Dillinger Escape Plan has failed to change the game with a fresh, forward-thinking piece of metal. This is a criticism that wouldn’t even be relevant for very many bands, but definitely is here. Calculating Infinity has gone down as their “chaotic, math-y” album. Ire Works was their experimental work, which employed a number of strategies previously absent from their arsenal. One of Us Is the Killer fails to foster any sort of identity for itself, but instead seems to sample from each of their past successes. This is not an inherent negative, and the album will still surely satisfy many fans, but it is somewhat of a disappointment coming from a band that has always been on the cutting edge – pushing their musical boundaries outwards. For The Dillinger Escape Plan, it seems that their best days of unique experimentation and constantly shifting dynamics are behind them. But the road ahead is not bleak – it is lit by the brightly shining lights of all of their past musical achievements.



Recent reviews by this author
Manchester Orchestra CopeRegina Spektor Songs
Run the Jewels Run the JewelsThe National Trouble Will Find Me
Laura Stevenson WheelOld Man Markley Down Side Up
user ratings (1298)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Justin Swope (4)
One of Us Is the Killer is another urgent and volatile work from the seminal mathcore behemoths....

AGERMANAVACADO (4.5)
A fantastic release by The Dillinger Escape Plan that may be the bands best release to date....

Jakob Johnson (5)
The most intense album The Dillinger Escape Plan have made since Calculating Infinity....

Jacob R. STAFF (4.1)
As lethal as ever....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Aids
Contributing Reviewer
June 19th 2013



23800 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

review is like album, ok but I've done better

I've done better

ResidentNihilist
June 19th 2013



1002 Comments


I've overemphasised a statement with italics.

with italics.

Also very good review, user with a lack of immune system.

Blaizend
June 19th 2013



647 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

agree

probs worst dillinger

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
June 19th 2013



23800 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

italics are all I live for

they're all I live for

BigPleb
June 19th 2013



35336 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Nice review.

Album rules obv.

dawija1017
June 19th 2013



555 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Albums typically take more than 1 listen to fully understand, as well as listening in multiple different environments...I feel like a lot of people heard it once and then immediately jumped on here to voice their disappointment...it's unfortunate, because most of this album is really well made...there's only 1 or 2 songs I don't really care for

Digging: Every Time I Die - From Parts Unknown

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
June 19th 2013



20749 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

review reads like reiterating how the band didnt do anything new in a bunch of different ways. there are a few good points you have, it would be better to elaborate on those and keep the lack of originality argument to one paragraph or something

personally i didnt find OP all that innovative besides a couple songs so i dont really understand that complaint. i mean, OP defines itself as their poppiest album the same way this defines itself as their heaviest. that's how i see it at least

anyway solid review, especially for something not really in your comfort zone (didnt even know you listened to metalcore lol)

Digging: Fallujah - The Flesh Prevails

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
June 19th 2013



23800 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@ dawija

well I mean I definitely enjoyed the album as a whole and listened to it probably 5 or 6 times before deciding that I was going to review it. That might be true for some people, but I think a lot of us are rightfully disappointed with the overall result. It might simply be a case of my tastes outgrowing this band, but it is what it is. I figured I'd give this a review with a little bit of a lower score to try to represent that not everybody thought it was HOLYSHIT AOTY

I liked the album though, I realize the review comes off pretty negatively but it's just because I'm reacting against the massive heaps of praise this has gotten (here and elsewhere)

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
June 19th 2013



23800 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@ins - yeah I see what you're saying. I was writing this review for somewhere else and had a hard time refining it and developing it to where I wanted to be, and I kind of gave up. I stand by my angle though, and wouldn't have restricted it to one paragraph because that's the whole point of this review and it otherwise would have worked even less. cheers for the feedback though.

and I don't really "listen to metalcore" I guess, I like some popular metal groups though. I dabble, ok? I dabble.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
June 19th 2013



49955 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

wag

Digging: Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) - You Will Eventually Be Forgotten

DrMaximus
June 19th 2013



9063 Comments


"the same way this defines itself as their heaviest."

What?

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
June 19th 2013



20749 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

this is their heaviest album

apert
June 19th 2013



2995 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is their 3rd heaviest ins, and album is finally down to 4.1

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
June 19th 2013



23800 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

speaking in absolutes is always troubling but if this is their heaviest album then I'll eat my hat

DrMaximus
June 19th 2013



9063 Comments


Don't worry Aids, you can hold off on the hat eating, this isn't their heaviest.

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
June 19th 2013



20749 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

miss machine and calc are way more tech than heavy, MM is close though. prancer, when i lost my bet, the thread posed are among their heaviest songs

balazs
June 19th 2013



481 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

OK, now I don't know what heavy means then...

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
June 19th 2013



23800 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good cause summer is coming and I only have one hat and I don't like getting sunburned on the top of my head*


*I have lots of hair but this happens anyway, or did in hotter places

balazs
June 19th 2013



481 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Review is good by the way, I see where you're coming from, and you make really good points. During the third paragraph it gets a bit redundant though, I think.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
June 19th 2013



10041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Nice review, buddy

Have to say, though, your assessments of the songs make me think "How could he get that from the song???" "Bet" strikes me as such a naturally-flowing track, especially because of how it progresses. And the title track having "disjointed themes and eclectic song structures"... I'm just trying to figure out what you mean, because I'd venture to say that song is the most logically structured and cohesive song here.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy