Pissed off, technical, unique. It’s everything you love about Dillinger with a new coat of slick professionalism.

It’d be hard to dispute that New Jersey band The Dillinger Escape Plan have become – somewhat reluctant – flag bearers for the “mathcore” genre; it’s one that has followed the quintet since the release of debut album Calculating Infinity over a decade ago.

Fast, highly technical musicianship mashed together with overwhelming aggression and frenetic dissonance has long been the band’s forte. On fifth studio album One of Us Is the Killer the group refine the elements that have proven crucial to their success, while continuing to evolve and come into their own. The result is the band’s most distinctive, accomplished record to date.

Opening numbers ‘Prancer’ and ‘When I Lost My Bet’ kick open One of Us Is the Killer with the band’s trademark savagery and erratic dynamics. This is vintage Dillinger, and there’s a comfort in the sense of familiarity present. From there, we see a pretty massive departure with the album’s title track. The anger is there, but it comes in the form of slow, calculated misanthropy rather than a jagged sonic assault – reminiscent of ‘Parasitic Twins’ from their preceding album, 2010’s Option Paralysis.

We start to see a melodic edge take shape as we progress, with ‘Nothing’s Funny’ and ‘Paranoia Shields’ featuring arguably some of the catchiest choruses in the band’s discography. The effect is that One of Us Is the Killer is the band’s most accessible effort.

Ultimately, however, the album isn’t watered down – the caustic energy and impressive technicality are still at the forefront of the band’s sound, while allowing a fuller scope and sense of versatility, as demonstrated on the epic ‘Crossburner’.

**** stars our of five


One Of Us Is The Killer is out now on Party Smasher Inc./Remote Control.

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