Review Summary: Ironic Progressive Rock
Destiny Potato is an interesting group that seemed to have come out of nowhere. The group was formed in 2010 by Berklee graduate and multi-instrumentalist David Maxim Micic with vocalist Aleksandra Djelmas. Destiny Potato’s debut LUN was released a week ago, with almost no attention or publicity surrounding it. While their popularity is steadily growing, they certainly deserve more attention for what they have achieved. LUN is not your typical modern progressive metal album. For one thing, almost every trope in the genre is mocked or made fun of in one way or another. The profanity ridden outro of “Love Song” or the comical sounding accordion interlude in “Lunatic” sandwiched between the pummeling heavy sections of the otherwise daunting and emotional track are only a few examples of the comical Easter eggs riddled throughout the 52 minute running time.
One of the most impressive aspects of LUN is the progressive nature of the music integrated with poppy hooks and intentionally robotic production. The songs themselves succeed largely due to their catchiness and skilled structuring of heavy progressive rock and pop. While a molding of these genres sounds contradictory, the album flows surprisingly well. “Addict” and “Indifferent” are mid-tempo metal tracks that display impressive musicianship and technical guitar riffing with crushing breakdowns. “Take a Picture” almost sounds like it could come straight from a Paramore album. “Lost Dream” is one of the best examples of the technical guitar riffing coupled with the pop choruses that will inevitably get stuck in your head for days after listening.
A distinctive quality of Destiny Potato is the emotive and robotic vocals of Aleksandra Djelmas. Despite the attempts at making her sound like a machine, she is surprisingly expressive and is one of the most enjoyable parts of the album, exuding emotion through her powerful singing and impressive range. “House of Lies” has Djelmas almost screaming the lines “I don’t know who you are, I don’t know where to start, When all along you tore apart, You don’t know you I am and you don’t understand, That I would never live this way.” She is used frequently, even belting out a few impressive screams at just the right times.
LUN is one of the most refreshing examples of the genre and Destiny Potato displays a true understanding of the craft, all the while having fun with it all. The album never feels uneven or oversaturated in a wall of sound or technical riffing like so many of their contemporaries. Despite the genre-bending qualities it possesses, it scales back all the contrasting elements for a restrained and slick sound. One of the most impressive qualities of LUN is the use of electronics and dance beats. While so many modern bands use EDM in interludes and outros, sometimes in every song on the album (I’m looking at you Periphery), Destiny Potato surprisingly uses them sparingly and randomly. While the production produces a few electronic flourishes, like adding robotic touches to the drumbeats or some of the vocals, they are used to convey a certain sound and style with the existing ingredients.
What ultimately makes LUN so enjoyable and replayable is its sense of humor and playfulness. The songs exude an attitude reminiscent of classic hard rock bands and pop stars. The mating of pop music and progressive metal has the songs following a contemporary rock structure. The pop choruses fit with the rest of the album and are seamlessly blended in with the heavier soloing and riffing. While the songs are full of heavy, technical riffs, they end up sounding catchy and fun. The ironic touches help contribute to its overall lighthearted sound despite the heavy and emotional music and themes, making it a contradictory and massively enjoyable debut.