This Week’s Best Albums: November 20, 2012

This Week's Best Albums: November 20, 2012

Each week, editor-in-chief Chris Force and music editor Scott Morrow choose ALARM’s favorite new releases for This Week’s Best Albums, an eclectic set of reviews presenting exceptional music.

The Algorithm: Polymorphic Code (Basick)

"Access Granted"

As the creation of French producer Rémi Gallego, The Algorithm is the next step in electro-metal evolution, splicing the DNA of IDM and electronica onto rapid-fire bass-drum triplets and heavy, worming grooves. If djent and dubstep procreated, this would be its insane offspring.

Polymorphic Code has plenty of sounds and passages for the dance floor, including forays into techno, breakcore, and even plain ol' dub. But the vast majority of the album resembles metal, even when the instruments are synthetic. And with most songs assembled as a giant riff salad, it's hard to grow tired of anything specific.

The album does lack cohesiveness, but its sheer musicality should win over fans of anything heavy, progressive, and electronic.

- Scott Morrow

The Devil: The Devil (Candlelight)


Anonymous and cloaked, the members of The Devil have crafted a debut album of dark, cinematic metal that's rife with political and conspiracy-theory overtones. Instead of espousing opinions or beliefs, however, this self-titled release uses historical sound clips in place of vocals, pairing effectively to create a sinister, foreboding mood that lets a picture paint itself.

Throughout the album, synth-string swells and Suspiria-style horror elements run alongside mid-tempo metal chugs. And no matter one's thoughts on the topics at hand — from the collapse of the WTC 7 building on 9/11 to JFK's assassination, George HW Bush's "New World Order" speech, or the supposed events in Roswell, New Mexico — there's no denying that The Devil is a new force in epic, symphonic metal.

- Scott Morrow

The Evens: The Odds (Dischord)

"King of Kings"

The likelihood of hearing another new Fugazi album grows increasingly unlikely by the year, but for a while, it seemed almost as unlikely to hear another new album from Ian MacKaye and domestic partner Amy Farina as The Evens. It has been six years since the release of Get Evens, which might be due to the two having their first child together — but the benefit of such a partnership is being able to pick up again without missing a beat.

Such is the case on third album The Odds, a characteristically pop-friendly set of guitar pop that leans on MacKaye’s signature baritone-guitar strum. Much in the same vein as the band’s last two albums, the relative lack of distortion and Farina’s soothing vocals give the impression of The Odds being a low-key affair, but it’s more like a punk record in pop clothing.

The Odds doesn’t get too loud, but after a fairly substantial absence, it’s comforting to hear that the duo is as caustic as ever.

– Text by Jeff Terich. Read the full review here.

Honorable Mentions:

Bad Brains: Into the Future (Megaforce)

Deafheaven / Bosse-de-Nage split EP (Flenser)

Dissipate: Tectonics (Basick)

Kylesa: From the Vaults, Vol. 1 (Season of Mist)

Naomi Punk: The Feeling (Captured Tracks)

Tight Phantomz: Silk Prison Pt. 1 & 2 (Forge Again)

Tim Hecker & Daniel Lopatin: Instrumental Tourist (Software Recordings)

V/A: Future Sounds of Buenos Aires (Waxploitation / ZZK)