Exclaim!'s Best of 2013: Top 10 Metal & Hardcore Albums



8. Dillinger Escape Plan
One of Us Is the Killer
(Sumerian Records/Party Smashers Inc.)

Dillinger Escape Plan exist in a vacuum. The band does their own thing loudly, parallel with the rest of metal/hardcore: always coexisting, but never really crossing paths. One of Us Is the Killer was their second album on their own Party Smasher Inc. label, but the first in partnership with Sumerian Records. Despite the newfound alliance, Dillinger trucked along and produced an album devoid of the recent technical music trend (and the basis for much of Sumerian's roster) of syncopated, low string bends — colloquially and erroneously known as "djent."

Instead, One of Us Is the Killer is full to the brim — but in typical mathcore fashion, never overflowing, being so calculated and all — with precision-cut, spiraling riffs that dance around the fretboard like a snake before striking. What really pushes Dillinger over the edge of madness are the increasingly unsettling melodies pervading their diverse sound that make them sound like unhinged lunatics. Unfortunately, One of Us Is the Killer didn't get nearly the appreciation it deserved; any other year, and the album would have been the talk of the proverbial town.

However, 2013's abundance of even older bands coming back with albums that surprisingly do their legacy proud swept this album under the rug. Still, this is a band who are as influential at this point as they always have been, not to mention more consistent and, perhaps most importantly, still alive. As the titular track says, "One of us must die, but the killer won't survive," and in a scene of stagnation, the killer will be a lack of progression; the Dillinger Escape Plan will live on. (Bradley Zorgdrager)