Well we certainly can’t complain about not enough variety in our musical diet of late here at CackBlabbath. Hot on the heels of the Djent/Rap of Hacktivist (which I kinda liked), comes another attempt to make fusing Djent with something else, well, different.
Now Djent is a genre that went from “oooh, this is quite interesting” to “oooh, god not again” in no time flat, and it’s only at the fuzzy extremes where bands and artists are pushing the boundaries that it’s worth keeping up with developments. Thankfully we have the UK based label Basick Records, who were ahead of the curve on the whole Djent/Tech/Metal scene. Now that the major labels are filling the apparently insatiable demand for “mainstream” technical metal Basick have moved on, staying on the bleeding edge and ensuring they remain the top dog in this increasingly competitive field.
The latest arrival here at CackBlabbath is the predictably mathematically entitled Polymorphic Code, the debut album from French instru-mentallist Rémi Gallego; also known as The Algorithm. This is one of those releases that it’s hard to describe in a way that does it justice. A rapid fire fusion of a billion different ideas, where chugging metal, dance beats and ambient electronic synth lines vie for attention, an apparently confused (and initially confusing) array of elements that struggle for audio-supremacy throughout 48 and a bit tumultuous minutes.
And when it works, the end result is just brilliant. The whole album wends a path between pretty- and really bloody- good, with Access Granted being my undisputed highlight. Firmly from the barking mad end of the progressive spectrum, it’s a glorious epilepsy inducing video game soundtrack of synth lines, beats and riffs, fused together with an impressive technical dexterity.
It’s that “billion different ideas” that make this record what it is, and will inevitably lead to upping the blood pressure of genre purists on both sides. I’m no expert on the electronic music scene, but if it’s anything like as puritanical as the metal scene I can see The Algorithm being stuck out in the no man’s land between the opposing trenches and taking fire from both sides.
Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that Polymorphic Code is progressive in the literal sense, as Monsieur Gallego takes his original, distinctive and frankly unhinged musical vision into hitherto uncharted territory.
Part tech metal, part rave, part trance, part video game soundtrack and part Airwolf theme tune… Polymorphic Code (like all great records) will divide opinion but you kinda know this is going to be one of the year’s most influential and inspirational releases for many. I know metal meets dance music has been done before but never quite like this, and the result is a totally left-field late runner for the year end lists.
Hey, don’t just take my word for it. The album is streaming over at the Basick Records soundcloud page, go check it out for yourself.