When I first heard bands like Periphery, Animals as Leaders, and Born of Osiris incorporating differing degrees of electronic music into progressive metal, it seemed like only a matter of time before an artist would work to fully integrate the two genres into a seamless blend. Cue Rémi Gallego, better known as The Algorithm. On the French producer’s latest album, the aggression of polyrhythmic drum and guitar sections are complemented by fuzzed-out bass wobbles, angular synths and atmospheric keys. Demonstrating a masterful understanding of EDM, metal and melody, The Algorithm’s Brute Force is set to be released April 1 on FiXT Music.
Opening with “boot,” Brute Force’s tone is set as one of melodic, catchy aggression that conjures up images from sci-fi films like The Matrix and Tron: Legacy. Consequently, the influence of Daft Punk, the team behind Tron: Legacy’s excellent film score, is significant throughout Brute Force. And yet, The Algorithm incorporates the analogue/digital artistry of these fellow French artists without losing his own sonic identity.
Throughout the album, influences of multiple subgenres appear within the context of any given song. “pointers” is a perfect example of Gallego’s eclectic, enjoyable approach. The track begins in true The Algorithm fashion with polyrhythms underlying analogue synth melodies. However, the track soon flows into an atmospheric, reverb-soaked guitar lead before being interrupted by the sound of typing. Then, out of nowhere, a blast beat break erupts, heightening the intensity of the section before the song transitions soundscapes several more times.
“Shellcode,” a personal favourite on the album, evokes Tomorrow We Die Alive-era Born of Osiris but masters the intersection between progressive deathcore and electronica in a way that TWDA could not. One could almost hear Lee McKinney’s sweeping leads over sections of the track, and such a feature would make for an interesting collaboration. However, “shellcode” and Brute Force are so much more than an instrumental Born of Osiris. The Algorithm have developed a fusion that none other can lay claim to, and mastered it on their new release.
A criticism I often hold for instrumental music, especially in the metal genre, is that it often fails to hold my interest for the length of a LP. However, Brute Force’s ten tracks are filled with diverse rhythms and melodies that continue to capture my attention after several listens. There are multiple layers, complex patterns, anthemic atmospheres and various influences for listeners to lose themselves in. Nonetheless, this album does not need to be analyzed to be enjoyed; music this energetic demands movement, whether at a concert, a club or a gym.
I cannot say that I’ve heard much music that would be as much at home in a rave as it would be in a mosh pit. And, yet, that is how I would describe The Algorithm’s Brute Force.
Notable Tracks: “pointers,” “shellcode,” “deadlock feat….”
FFO: Born of Osiris, Daft Punk, Skrillex, Circle of Contempt
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