It’s disgusting when people will hear music like The Dillinger Escape Plan and think that it is corrupt and a source of disgrace and evil in this world. If they were to take a deep and serious listen, they’ll realize that the music is against corruption and evil, and is more along the lines of fighting for survival in a world they did not create. One Of Us Is The Killer (Sumerian) is an inspired album featuring the kind of musical and vocal rage they’ve become known for, balanced with accessible material that show the two wicked sides of the same DEP coin.
The band’s chops are as sharp as ever, one might call their fierce song structures math rock or math metal, but it’s merely just creating vamps in spots that one would not normally expect. It’s a bit algebraic in their approach, and the songs themselves show the other textures that the group enjoy throwing in, everything from the jazziness of the guitars in “When I Lost My Bet” to achieving the kind of majestic powers their music gives off. Symphonic horns during the introduction of “Paranoia Shields”? It works. Digital distortion, studio hum, and distant radio signal voices that welcome in “CH 375 268 277 ARS” before the drive and gallop of the guitar and bass begin? Oh yes.
If the influence of vocalist Mike Patton hasn’t been made before, then here it is, or here it is again. Patton’s singing, from the soft and delicate to the sinister Mr. Bungle and Fantomas screams, has been taken in like a sponge and made into what Greg Puciato does as a singer, and he is incredible at what he does. Take that to a live setting, and you’re pretty much set for life (or for the next two hours). His performance in “Crossburner” stands out as one of the album’s brightest moments, as he screams out “You don’t listen/you never listen/you don’t listen/you don’t listen/I cut you by the throat and try to squeeze, but you aren’t real”, and you feel like jumping into the speaker and joining him on his internal battle.
These are songs that are going to please fans, as it is a continuation of the types of stories and songwriting that help make this band stand out from the rest. One can easily get lost in what they’re creating, and when one feels and undersands what they’re saying, they become one with the sound and it feels good to feel angered by the craziness of this existence we call life. Maybe we live in times when we aren’t innocent until proven guilty, we are now under the scope of one camera or another, or people who feel mistrust over everything. Thus, if we didn’t do something wrong, maybe the next person did, because someone has to be guilty, right? Thus One Of Us Is The Killer, but what are we killing, but our own or each others sanity? Maybe that’s why the album ends with “The Threat Posed By Nuclear Weapons”, because if we are not killing ourselves or each other, something much grander will take us all down. Or perhaps the idea is that we will all put ourselves in doom before the final event ever comes into play.