The Algorithm
Brute Force


4.5
superb

Review

by MercuryToHell USER (44 Reviews)
March 31st, 2016 | 27 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Much more accessible, no less apes***.

Remi Gallego is not a man to rely on subtlety. His debut album, Polymorphic Code, was a boisterous fusion of techno and djent which was much more than the sum of those (admittedly alienating) parts - rather than take tracks in one style and fuse elements of the other, there was genuine cohesion in the chaos and all told displayed a surprising synergy. Octopus4 followed, and while there was a much stronger emphasis on the synthetic, his love for syncopated rhythms and progressive structures still held strong, and more importantly showed that he was not, by any stretch, a one-trick pony. So where next? Brute Force on the whole would seem a more fitting title for his earlier efforts, but where this album doesn’t go full-throttle for the whole runtime, the lasting result is a much more complete and satisfying beast for it. This album lacks maybe the concept of its predecessor, but as basic as it may sound, it is massively boosted by having an underlying structure.

Now allow me to be blunt about one thing here: if The Algorithm has never appealed before, then Brute Force is, at best, unlikely to change your mind as the overall aesthetic has not changed. Indeed, tracks such as ‘boot’, ‘floating point’ and ‘hex’ are more fleshed out evolutions of ideas realised on Polymorphic Code, but it is this evolution that allows Brute Force to go deeper than the last two records - the relentless chugging from grimy bass squelches and self-played guitar riffing is much more balanced and the layers of contrasting synth work and surgically precise drumming create a euphoric wall of noise: take the closing passage of ‘floating point’ as a prime example - djent textbook riff, reverb splashed lead guitar on top, but the urgency of the crescendo elevates the track into a panic, building incessantly until it has to simply explode before returning breathlessly to the track’s introduction riff.

Elsewhere amongst the mayhem, we see a few new stylistic choices; the title track displays a couple of almost (whisper it) black metal-esque blastbeats and some heavily reverb-washed guitar lines to compliment, ‘shellcode’ jumps comfortably into Venetian Snares territory in its mid-section, while ‘floating point’, ’rootkit’ and ‘pointers’ all dip their toes into CHON/Polyphia style simple-yet-smooth fretwork. Where Gallego is happy to revisit and build on his own style, he is clearly very capable of mixing in new, external influences where it suits the specific track - and it is to his credit that none of these ideas outstay their welcome.

However, the real strength of the album lies in how well the two true curveballs sit in with the rest of the record. Neither ‘userspace’ or ‘deadlock’ were in any way expected after the familiarity of the two lead singles, but they both perfectly find their homes here. ‘userspace’ is something of a slow-burner, which is an alien concept to The Algorithm, but it is really something special. Building on a basic, subdued Daft Punk style house beat, the track swells into a Wild Light era 65daysofstatic post-rock bridge before warping the original passage to what can only be described as glitchy, melancholic EDM, and makes for quite the listen as an individual piece, moreso as a transition from one half of the record to the next. ‘deadlock’ is (after a bizarre, French QVC sounding intro - translations please?) a flat-out, System Of A Down meets Animals As Leaders rock slam, combining an oddly natural sounding guitar-drum-bass combo that just. goes. hard. with randomly inserted glitches that come from all sides, toying with the riff and never once letting it settle for than a few seconds, creating a claustrophobic but satisfying mess, akin to a heaver ‘When Acting As A Wave’ from Dillinger Escape Plan’s Ire Works.

Simply put, this album is a fantastic listen. A lot of the EDM synth work and djent cliches may well be off-putting to some listeners but in construction, this album comes together perfectly to appeal to both sensibilities. But most importantly, The Algorithm has learnt how to dial it back a few notches, so that the crushingly heavy moments (which are in no short supply) pack just that much more of a punch.



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user ratings (96)
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
MercuryToHell
March 31st 2016


1361 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Download for pre-order came a day early, so have spent today doing very, very little else.

Comments and constructive criticism always appreciated.

defilator
March 31st 2016


4 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Solid review. If you like Deadlock, check out Whourkr's 4247 Snare Drums because it is basically the same thing (considering that Whourkr is one of Igorrr's projects).



I really love this album so far. I've been keen on The Algorithm since before Polymorphic Code and this is definitely his best.

MercuryToHell
March 31st 2016


1361 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

What was Igorrr's involvement on that track? I know literally nothing about him!

defilator
March 31st 2016


4 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The guitar work and glitchy-ness on deadlock are classic Igorrr, and the track turned out exactly as I expected it would once I saw that he was featured on it. He is extremely prolific and does a lot of work with different projects. Check out Igorrr's Hallelujah, Corpo-Mente's self-titled, Oxxo Xoox, and that Whourkr album. The guy is all over the place and I love it.

MercuryToHell
April 1st 2016


1361 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome, I definitely will, thankyou!

DatsNotDaMetulz
April 1st 2016


4091 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Main complaint is the drums can be a little bit overpowering at times but it's a step up from Octopus4 which I felt left the metallic elements a bit too much.

Sinternet
April 1st 2016


24387 Comments


nice review, will have to check this, remember digging Polymorphic Code quite a bit

Digging: Little Simz - Sometimes I Might Be Introvert

MercuryToHell
April 1st 2016


1361 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This definitely has more in common with Polymorphic Code than Octopus4 - really crunchy and heavy for the most part, so please do!

RustCohle
April 1st 2016


373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

very nice review for an almost perfect album

MercuryToHell
April 1st 2016


1361 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Really means a lot thankyou! And I'm glad I'm not the only one labelling it a 4.5, it just really is almost perfect to me!

Jotun35
April 2nd 2016


124 Comments


Sounds great so far (I really liked Octopus4).
Nice review too!

MercuryToHell
April 2nd 2016


1361 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I was always a much bigger fan of Polymorphic Code but I've been getting into Octopus4 a lot more lately, it's just awesome as an electronic album on it's own rather than looking to compare it to the first one.

MercuryToHell
April 3rd 2016


1361 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Booked a ticket to go see him in three weeks.

BEYOND.

STOKED.

davesthesay
April 7th 2016


67 Comments


Review is spot-on.
I haven't heard Octopus4, but I'll give it a go.

MercuryToHell
April 8th 2016


1361 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's quite a jarring listen after Polymorphic Code because it was really a complete sidestep but it's definitely worth checking out!

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
April 13th 2016


2654 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I had my doubts at first going into this album, but I can safely say it's been a pleasant surprise listening to this record a good few times now. IT's really consistent stuff, and every song here seems mastered with exquisite songwriting and energetic albeit precise musical arrangements. The electronic influences are just as fully realized as the metallic parts, and for me make highlights like the title track, "Userspace" and the brilliant "Deadlock" all the more engaging to whoever listens. Certainly one of the finest albums of its kind this year.

Digging: Pa Vesh En - Maniac Manifest

MercuryToHell
April 13th 2016


1361 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Way more replay value than I expected.

Genuine contender for AOTY so far if Blackstar wasn't a thing.

MercuryToHell
April 22nd 2016


1361 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

In line to see him now. Too much hype.

DatsNotDaMetulz
April 22nd 2016


4091 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I was there too. Got a guest pass and Remi signed my CD

MercuryToHell
April 22nd 2016


1361 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I probably saw you without realising it then dude, quality show!

I sent him the review after I posted it and when I told him it was me he said 'ah yes, it is very positive, thank you!' - next job is to work on a remix of a track or two...



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