5. The Dillinger Escape Plan – One of Us Is the Killer
May 14 on Party Smasher, Inc. / Sumerian Records
Morris Plains, New Jersey, USA
Dillinger have been cultivating a reputation as one of the most intense live metal acts on Earth since the late ‘90s. They’re a polarizing band – you either can’t stand them, or you’re in awe of the raw power, ridiculous instrumental prowess, and aural insanity they manage to weave into massive, sharp-edged chunks of controlled chaos. The heavier, frantic moments on One of Us Is the Killer, such as “When I Lost My Bet”, are balanced with the heavy rock feel of tunes such as the title track and “Paranoia Shields”. Puciato’s falsetto and vocal melody is reminiscent of Faith No More-era Patton, a comparison which I admit has been dead-horsed, but is still an accurate, complimentary statement. The title track, the most accessible on One of Us, is easily one of the best tunes of the year – metal and otherwise. Nothing is wasted. Whereas Dillinger’s genius is usually found in its frantic mathcore frenzy, what’s on display here is another aspect of their lean approach to songwriting, this time in a more standard rock setting – the verses are short, sweet, and pretty; the chorus is catchy and memorable; and the bridge drop at 2:18 will shake the foundation of any heavy music fan’s ivory tower. That said, the accessible moments are not easily found on this fifth studio album. Instead, this is a collection of heavy, challenging, mad music delivered by seasoned experts who haven’t lost their edge; much the opposite – they’ve sharpened it.