The Algorithm: 'Brute Force' roundtable review
It's been a while since we sat down and reviewed an album together, but the release of the new The Algorithm record was too good an opportunity to miss. 'Brute Force' has now been out for about a week, so hopefully you've had a chance to give it a spin yourself and maybe even form an opinion about it. If you haven't, check out the full album stream below!
In this roundtable review, five members of the got-djent.com moderation team share their viewpoints and discuss the album in detail. For the occasion, we also invited Twelve Foot Ninja guitarist Stevic MacKay to the table. Since these roundtable reviews can get a bit one-sided (most got-djent.com moderators have similar backgrounds, after all), it was great to have a professional musician joining in. We hope the result is a more balanced and varied overview of what 'Brute Force' has to offer.
Our discussion is divided into 7 sections. Scroll down to the end if you're interested in the scores. Feel free to share your own take on the album in the comments!
The participants of this roundtable review are:
How familiar is everyone with The Algorithm and the previous albums and EPs?
xCessivePressure: I listened to his music a lot before 'Polymorphic Code' came out. I couldn't really get into that album until a couple of months ago, because I thought it sounded too electro, but then I rediscovered it and listened to it a bunch. I also really liked 'Octopus4'. Since I only started appreciating the full-length albums fairly recently, I'd say I'm more familiar with the older material.
GeN2Mo: I discovered The Algorithm with 'The Doppler Effect', and I also listened to 'Critical.Error' a lot back when it was released. I lost track of him after that, and I'm not really that familiar with 'Polymorphic Code' and 'Octopus4'. However, I did listen to all of the albums and EPs last week to prepare for this roundtable, so I'm relatively familiar with his work.
Clarity: I've been listening to his work pretty much since the beginning, around 2010. But it has been a while since I've listened to his most recent stuff. I've sort of forgotten how each individual album sounds, but I think I'm pretty familiar with his material.
Benanne: I think I'm in the same situation. I listened to the EPs a lot, and then 'Polymorphic Code' came out which was very different and very electronic-sounding, like Francis said. But nevertheless I listened to it a lot. Then I ended up kind of forgetting about that album. I listened to 'Octopus4' a couple of times when it came out. So I suppose I'm not all that familiar. I think I would have trouble identifying which song is from which album.
Stevic: The Algorithm (Rémi and Mike) supported Twelve Foot Ninja in Australia for our "Troll Burger Tour". Watched them every night, it's crazy shit! I do not have any of their previous releases, so can't say I'm mega familiar or all over the back catalogue.
Alex93: I've listened to 'Critical.Error' a lot, and a bit of 'Polymorphic Code', but to be honest I don't remember a single thing about it. I only listened to it about five or so times when it came out, and any of his work after that I'm pretty much oblivious about. Except for the 'Tr0jans' single he released a couple of years ago. So yeah, 'Critical.Error' and 'Trojans', that's about it.
There seems to be a bit of a bias towards the earlier material. What about electronic music in general? Who here listens to other electronic artists or styles?
Benanne: Not me. There's only one other electronic album I really enjoy: 'This Binary Universe' by BT. That's basically the only thing. Although I suppose if you count 65daysofstatic's later work as electronic music, I guess I enjoy that as well.
Alex93: Not really. Perhaps the occasional artist like Telefon Tel Aviv, or some of Jaga Jazzists work.
xCessivePressure: I don't listen to any particular artists. I really enjoy dubstep but I mostly listen to podcasts, so I don't really know any artists. I really like Savant, Mr. Bill, Trifonic and Igorrr, but I don't know if that last one even qualifies? That's pretty much it. My friend showed me some vaporwave recently and it's quite good.
Alex93: Yeah, if that counts, I enjoy a bit of vaporwave as well.
Stevic: I'm not very familiar with electronic music in general. I don't really listen to heavy music to be honest. I put on an Aussie act called 'Tipper' occasionally when I'm working because it's pretty mellow. I also really like Cornelius' album 'Point' for the blend of electronic and organic elements ... I think Radiohead have straddled that line very well also.
Clarity: I've been listening to a lot of electronic music recently. Bands like Celldweller and Blue Stahli, which are some of the main ones on the FiXT Music label to which The Algorithm signed recently. I would say I'm pretty familiar with electronic music in general and nowadays I listen to a lot of it, because it's getting harder to find some decent metal music lately.
GeN2Mo: I listen to electronic music occasionally, mostly drum'n'bass and synthwave, artists like Noisia, Rchetype, Dan Terminus and others. Occasionally I listen to weirder stuff like Igorrr, or his side project Whourkr. Also artists like Drumcorps or JK47, when it comes to electronica/metal-fusion, which I really dig.
xCessivePressure: I guess I'm with you with drum'n'bass, I suppose I listen to more of that than dubstep actually.
In that respect, it seems like everyone has fairly different backgrounds. What was your first impression of the album, after one or two listens?
xCessivePressure: I was really impressed, I thought "this is why I used to listen to The Algorithm in the first place". I instantly enjoyed the album. I was also really pleased with the improvement on the guitars, that brought something that was not present in previous albums.
Benanne: My first thought was: "this is really metal", compared to his previous work. Especially compared to 'Polymorphic Code', which was much more on the electronic side. This is really a return to the style of the EPs, I felt.
Alex93: That is the vibe I got at first. "This sounds a lot like 'Critical.Error'", I thought to myself. At least the first five or so tracks. In the middle part I noticed there was a shift towards the electronic side, which I thought was really cool, but it made me question if the guitars were necessary for those songs. And then we got back into it towards the end, especially with a track like 'Trojans'. The overall feeling was that for the most part it did feel more metal, but I didn't feel that it was always necessary.
Clarity: When I first listened to the album I put it on in the background, while I was doing some other stuff. I didn't really concentrate. Nevertheless it was obvious that it's a really solid and mature effort, but otherwise there wasn't really anything that caught my immediate attention.
Stevic: Rémi is great! I think this is the kind of music that would be played inside a giant battle royale techno drome or something. It's like 8-bit travelled to the future and came back again. I really appreciate his skill and get it cognitively, I probably wouldn't listen to this kind of music normally though -- it's too intense for me. Although, if I had to kill someone or demolish a house or a distant planet -- I'd pump this in my spaceship. I also think I prefer it when the guitar doesn't take melodic lines and plays a more rhythmic role, e.g. the part in 'Pointers' that sounds like a weird Russian Eurovision song with galloping bass and a dude doing a cheesy electric guitar solo over the top isn't my thing... But all the computer gamey, dubstep synth bass shit mixed with heavy as fuck guitars and drums is off its face.
GeN2Mo: I finished the first listen with a really big grin on my face. I really liked this album pretty much from the start, for a couple of reasons. For one, I really like that the guitars and the metal elements in general are not only much more present, they also have a lot more variety. That sets it apart from his earlier work, which it is of course similar to, but you have those post-metal tremolo passages, different kinds of grooves, not just staccato, ... I thought it was really interesting, and I also felt that the songwriting is more coherent than in a lot of his work up to this point. It's still very eclectic, but I had the feeling the songs are much more memorable than on 'Octopus4' for example.
We did a roundtable review of 'Polymorphic Code' when it came out. We agreed that it was primarily an electronic album. Would you agree that this one is a lot more guitar-driven and metal-sounding? Some of us have already brought this up.
Stevic: From all I've heard of The Algorithm, I'd describe it as electronic music with metal aspects. The guitar taking melody/solo lines is different, but I probably wouldn't consider that the primary aspect which makes this music more "metal" than what I've heard Rémi do previously.
xCessivePressure: I wasn't there for the 'Polymorphic Code' roundtable, but I would agree that this new one is a more metal-sounding album. I think that Rémi putting out an electronic album may have helped him make room for a more metal album. Some kind of catharsis.
Alex93: From what I remember about 'Polymorphic Code', which is not much, this does definitely sound like it leans more toward the metal side. One word that kept popping up in my head, which I would rather refrain from using but given the context of this roundtable I'll use it anyway: I would say it's djentier!
Clarity: I wouldn't say this album is more "metal" than electronic, though. I feel there is a perfect balance between both here. It definitely didn't strike me as mostly metal. It's something in between, there's no clear dominant style. It's not like 'Polymorphic Code' where you could say that it's clearly more of an electronic album.
GeN2Mo: Agreed, it's very much "in-between".
How does this affect your enjoyment of the album? Do you prefer the electronic side or the metal side, or maybe even the balance of the two, depending how you look at it?
Clarity: I think I prefer the balanced side of things in this case. It seemed like this album struck the perfect balance.
Stevic: I really like how he blends the two to be honest. It's the combination I like. I'm not a massive metalhead, nor do I really listen to electronic music... but I dig it when they voltron together. Kinda like I wouldn't eat a spoonful of vegemite... but I'd definitely put a spoonful of vegemite on a bit of toast.
xCessivePressure: Yeah, I would go with that as well. But there's definitely something that pleases me about the metal side being more prominent than before. I think that's why it took me so long to dig 'Polymorphic Code'. So I guess I'd go with the metal side, since it was lacking before in my opinion.
xCessivePressure: Yes, it sounds more defined.
Alex93: I liked both sides of the album. Some songs exposed us to more of one side than the other, for example the first three songs have a definitively more "djent" feel to them with the syncopated guitars, while songs like 'Userspace' or 'Rootkit' were more electronic-driven. But overall, I think I am more biased towards the more metal side of this album.
GeN2Mo: I definitely tend to lean towards the fusion aspect too, not really to either side.
Benanne: That's kind of the point of The Algorithm, right? I mean, that's what you listen to it for: for the mixture, for the combination.
GeN2Mo: I would even say that if you isolate some of the elements, passages or layers of the electronic or metal aspects, they aren't really that exceptional, they don't stand out that much on their own. Like Stevic said, their combination is what is really interesting because nobody else does it like that.
Out of all of Rémi's album and EPs, which one represents the perfect balance of the two? Is it 'Brute Force', or another release?
Stevic: I am not qualified to make that call. Although from what I've heard of this and what I've heard of the previous stuff... I think there are some extremely interesting things going on in this album.
xCessivePressure: It's a tough question of course, but I'd say 'Critical.Error'. I think how the drums were written and mixed was really metal, harsh and hard. They were metal drums but it sounded so much like electronic music, with all the glitches. It was very different from the new album, maybe another kind of balance, but I think it was balanced too.
In what sense are the drums different on this album?
xCessivePressure: Sometimes they are more like standard metal drums with China cymbals etc., and at other times you have the usual electro drums. It is more separated, for example you have bass drum kicking in when the music is more electronic, and you have metal drum parts when the rest of the music is more metal as well.
Do you think Rémi will continue along this path, or is the next release likely to be more electronically driven again? What would you prefer?
Stevic: I have no idea. I think there is definitely a market for what Rémi does.
xCessivePressure: I think this album is going to be very well received and is defining his sound a lot more. I would prefer Rémi going in this direction in the future. 'Brute Force' sounds more like his first two EPs and I appreciate that.
Alex: I'm not exactly sure, since I didn't listen to 'Octopus4', or maybe once, but compared to 'Polymorphic Code' I felt like he is really starting to feel comfortable with what he is trying to do, and I think the fact that he went from more electronic albums to 'Brute Force' is a sign that he is trying to pursue that balance.
GeN2Mo: Looking at all that variety he put into the metal side, I would expect that he tries to expand on that in the future. I don't think he will really cut back on that, that would be a surprise to me.
Clarity: It was my impression that Rémi was not totally satisfied with his decision to go more electronic on his two previous albums, and then he also listened to the feedback he got on those albums and decided to go back to a more metal sound.
Benanne: Considering that this album is coming at a time when he is starting to tour the world and massively growing his fanbase, this album is likely to sort of cement what his future fans will expect of him. So if this album was more electronic and the next one would be more metal, that might not have been a strategically smart move.
Alex: I think it does serve as a nice gateway from either the metal or electronic perspective, because it has this nice mixture of both. The mixture is the hook for us.
Clarity: If his label could be any indicator of musical style, it may be worth noting that a lot of the bigger artists from FiXT that I have listened to have this combination of metal and electronic sides to their sound. So The Algorithm signing to FiXT Music makes perfect sense to me.
What was your opinion of the guitar solos on the album?
Alex: The solos were definitely a highlight for me.
Clarity: When Rémi said that he wanted to make this album more metal-sounding I expected a similar kind of guitar sound like on his first two releases: lots of chugging everywhere. However I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that there were lots of guitar solos on 'Brute Force', which is not exactly typical for this kind of music. This is really what sets him apart, even from the other artists on FiXT Music where the guitars usually have a more industrial sound.
GeN2Mo: The solos together with the guitar melodies were a big eye-opener for me. This was the one thing that I didn't really expect, because before, most of his guitar parts were chugs or relatively rhythm-driven grooves. This album has some really beautiful guitar melodies on it.
Rémi's audience has always been a mix of fans of primarily electronic music, and a large part of the tech metal and djent scene. How do you think members from either group will receive this album?
Alex93: It is pretty hard for us to put ourselves in their shoes, as we are all primarily metal fans, but I don't think the metal side is too intrusive for fans of electronic music, because the album is very balanced as we stressed before. I think it can be enjoyable for people who are mostly into electronic music as well.
xCessivePressure: Also most of the metal parts are backed up with crazy electro sounds, so I don't think it will displease the fans of electronic music. I think it's going to be well-received by both groups.
Benanne: The divide is becoming more vague, in the sense that it is sometimes hard to tell what is actually a guitar sound and what is electronic.
Clarity: It seems that fans of The Algorithm usually have a quite eclectic taste, so they won't be deterred by a bit more of guitar sound.
Stevic: I think there is nothing in there too divergent from The Algorithm everyone knows, so I expect it will contribute toward growing Rémi's fanbase.
What do you think of the collaboration with Igorrr on track 8, 'Deadlock'?
Stevic: I wasn't aware of Igorrr, but that track is great!
Alex93: As much as I love Igorrr's music, this track was pretty much the least interesting on the album for me.
xCessivePressure: I expected something totally different, because I listen to Igorrr a lot. However, I thought it was very satisfying. Because of the introductions in French, which is my mother tongue, I was expecting something very electro, because they're saying: "In the world of technology, electronic music is really accessible, anybody can do it at home, you only have to press space to get started." Yet it is probably one of the most metal songs on the album. You can definitely recognise Igorrr's influence in the brutality of the song. The ending is very interesting, especially the drum parts. It may sound disappointing if you are familiar with Igorrr's music, but I think it was a really good combination. It's one of my favorite songs on the album actually.
GeN2Mo: The collaboration with Igorrr was already a positive surprise for me by itself. In addition to that, the song turned out to be very different from what I expected. I expected this breakcore/avant-garde/operatic wildness from Igorrr and then it turns out to be straight up the most metal track on the album. It has a lot of surprise value, but I'm not sure how much I like it as a song.
Benanne: Do you think that might have been intentional?
GeN2Mo: I thought about it but I'm not sure. It is definitely possible.
Benanne: Considering that Rémi is a massive troll on Facebook sometimes, maybe he also wanted to do it on the album?
Alex: If it really was, then props to him. It definitely broke the flow of the album a bit for me, but all in all was good fun.
Benanne: Agreed. I'm not really familiar with Igorrr's work and I felt like the track broke the album flow, which is a strange thing to do right before the end. The ninth track felt kind of disjointed from the rest of the album, as a result, because it was separated from it by this collaboration song. I think the album might flow better if they switched around tracks 8 and 9.
Clarity: I didn't like this track so much, maybe because I had quite high expectations of it since I also listen to Igorrr's music and really enjoy his live performances. When I listened to the album for the first time I didn't look at the song titles, and when it was over I had to go back and check which track was a collaboration with Igorrr, because none of them stood out in that way for me. I found the song to be a bit uninteresting.
And then we have the title track of the album that combines 4-5 different genres in a five minute track. What's everyone's take on that?
Alex93: For me it was immediately a stand-out track. The first three tracks catch your attention each in their own way, but after some point in track two I noticed that it was pretty much all chugging the C note and C-minor chords in the electronics. Then "Brute Force" kicks in and breaks away from that. I definitely thought it was more ingenious, it had a great ending... it had much more melodic value for me.
Stevic: I'm a big fan of mixing genres but I reckon it's more accurate to say 4-5 subgenres of metal and electronic music. I dig the track, it's quite a comprehensive amalgamation of electronic and metal elements.
xCessivePressure: It's my favorite track off the album. I really enjoyed the prog side of it. There are a lot of styles present all throughout the album. But what always gets me is the insane keyboards just going like [imitates scale runs]. It just blows my mind. I really like about The Algorithm that it's always impossible to predict what he's going to do.
Benanne: It's definitely one of my favorites as well. It's a track that really grabbed my attention.
Clarity: It's really good. It makes some references to his earlier work, with those guitars in the beginning, something from 'Critical.Error' maybe.
GeN2Mo: Agreed, I would add that the song is probably a good example of how this album differs from his earlier work; because, even though the album is very eclectic throughout, this track has a really interesting buildup and a really interesting dramatic progression. I felt that it tells a story with all its different elements and that it has a certain coherence, a certain "leading motive".
Benanne: It's interesting that you use the word "coherence", because it's basically four or five different disjoint genres, mixed together in one song. So it's cool that he managed to make a coherent whole out of that.
GeN2Mo: Definitely, yes. And I really think he hit the mark on that more often this album than before.
What do you think about the new version of "Trojans"? How does it compare to the original? Which version do you prefer?
Clarity: I think it's probably the weakest song on the album. I definitely prefer the original version.
Benanne: I'm inclined to agree. The Algorithm's music is already all over the place, and to then take a song like that and mix it up even more... I don't think it really adds much.
xCessivePressure: I really think it does! It brings back the original Algorithm. Maybe it's a bit disconnected but I really enjoyed it. Also, there's reference to the original in a sample: instead of saying "Access Granted", it says "Access Denied". That contributes to the really dark feel of this version of the song. There's also another French reference in the song, to Eddy Malou. This is a guy from Congo who went viral on YouTube. He says things that are so freaking weird... I smiled and laughed a lot while listening to it, thinking: "This guy knows his memes".
GeN2Mo: I enjoyed it too. I don't think it's a very strong song on its own, compared with the rest of the album. But as a closing track I think it serves its purpose really well. I really liked how it kind of dissolves and goes into almost arbitrary jumps from style to style at the end -- also because it makes for a really nice contrast to the more coherent feel of the rest of the album.
Alex93: I enjoyed this version more than I did the original, partly because it felt darker to me. But I do have an issue with it, not so much with the song itself, but with the context. We come in from 'Deadlock', this super weird track that breaks the flow of the album, then you go into 'Rootkit', which is much more electronically driven...
so then when I got to 'Trojans', I thought it was a pretty weird closer. It felt very disconnected from the first two thirds of the album. But I think the fault there is with how they use 'Deadlock', with regards to track placement.
Here's a quote from Rémi, which basically echoes everything we've said so far: "I like to think of Brute Force as a crossover between Polymorphic Code and my earlier works in Critical.Error, with more modern elements and ambiences that make the whole thing more diverse but also more cohesive. I feel like I could give more room for emotions and have more passion out of the songwriting, and I strived to make of each track an album on its own."
Benanne: Yeah, that pretty much nails it. I guess he achieved what he set out to achieve.
xCessivePressure: I agree. I think the quote perfectly defines the album. Also, I really like that he uses the guitar in a way that generates more emotions. All the songs go from one range of emotion to another, which is really satisfying. I think he's spot on with what he says there.
Alex93: It did feel like it was a bit more emotional, particularly songs like "Rootkit" or the ending of "Brute Force", which was fantastic, and "Userspace" as well. I think he employs the melody to achieve exactly that.
From the cover art, song titles, sound effects, and the special edition release of a MIDI version on floppy disk, it's clear that there is an overarching concept behind the album, which they really put a lot of work into. Does this affect your enjoyment of the album?
xCessivePressure: Not really, because I really didn't look into it. So I don't know if I just don't get it.
Stevic: It has an old school computer game vibe which I love.
GeN2Mo: It didn't affect me that much, because I'm not that much of a computer tech nerd, so I wasn't quite sure if I was really getting the concept. I did think it has a bit of a TRON-vibe, which I really enjoyed.
Benanne: I really liked the effort that they put into this whole concept around it. I think that really adds value to it. I particularly enjoyed that one promo picture where he's lying on the floor with a very old computer in front of him. This is parodying an old Microsoft ad where Bill Gates has the same pose. I thought that was beautiful.
Clarity: I agree with that. I don't usually pay much attention to themes behind an album, especially if you've got to go into the lyrics or have to listen very closely. But here you really only have to read the song titles and if you are familiar with this terminology it really adds to your imagination, so it's easier to get into the theme of this album.
Alex93: The concept didn't affect my enjoyment that much, but I think it mostly has to do with the fact that I didn't know there was a concept. Now that I know about it, I'll definitely have to look into that.
What do you think about the production of the album?
Stevic: It's killer. Rémi's one of those dudes that wields production like a fucking Nintendo power glove. It's intrinsic to the product.
Alex93: The first thing that popped into my mind was that this sounds so much better produced than 'Critical.Error', which is my main reference point in regard to this album. I think it has a lot to do with the drums. 'Critical.Error' very obviously featured VST drums, while they sound a lot more organic on 'Brute Force'. The way the guitars and bass were mixed also sounds much better.
xCessivePressure: There's a real drummer now, that probably helps. I think the production is really clean. Everything fell into place. Everything has just enough room so that you're able to focus on it and enjoy it, but not so much that you can't figure out the whole picture. I definitely like the improvement of the production compared to 'Critical.Error' but I don't hear much of a difference compared to the other full-length albums.
Does the album flow well, does it have staying power? Can you imagine yourself still listening to it in a month or two?
Alex93: It definitely has staying power. Obviously I had to listen to it more than I otherwise would have for the purpose of this review, but it never felt like a chore. I enjoyed it and I will definitely continue listening to it, maybe even years from now, considering that this is a very unique artist. I really wouldn't know where else I could get The Algorithm's sound.
xCessivePressure: I think the album flows very well but I don't know if it will have such staying power. The album that has staying power for me would be 'Critical.Error'. But with what he brings to the table there's a lot of potential for his next album to be something that will linger a lot longer. I think I will still listen to it for a while. It is indeed a key album for The Algorithm, but it might not be the one i'll listen to a few years on from now.
Stevic: There's definitely a "sound" and a "flow" but it's fucking intense. As mentioned, I'm probably the wrong guy to ask because when I listen to music by choice, I'll probably put on Snarky Puppy or Lewis Taylor or something to chill out. This is pretty hyper stuff.
Benanne: Agreed, this is not an album that I can put on in the background. I need to consciously make a decision to listen to it and then really pay attention to take it all in. So, I do think I will listen to it in the future, but I'll have to set aside some time for it. It's not something I'll just throw into my playlist at work, because then I don't think I will enjoy it much.
Clarity: That's interesting, because I don't have much trouble to put 'Brute Force' on in the background and listen to it while I'm doing other things. I think it's perfect for that also. I can definitely see myself going back to it every once in a while at a later point. It is a really solid album and I enjoy it a lot.
GeN2Mo: It's hard to judge. I think a lot of those melodies will have me coming back for quite a while. It's very memorable compared to some of the previous albums. I don't exactly know how long it will last me, though. It strikes a nice balance between catchiness and density but I have the feeling that I will run out of details to discover after a while.
Which are your favorite tracks and why?
Stevic: 'Deadlock'. It's psycho. Love it. I dig the weird elevator French shit at the start - no idea what it is but when that guitar tone kicks in it's sick. I like how it sounds more "band" like but still has electronic aspects.
Benanne: Definitely 'Brute Force'. But I also really liked the opener, 'Boot'. In particular, the moment when the guitar kicks in and when you realize: "this something very different". I loved the melody as well.
Alex93: I really liked 'Boot' because it serves as a really nice track to get you into what this album is going to be about. I really liked 'Brute Force' as well, because by track three the album was starting to take this singular direction and then 'Brute Force' shakes things up a bit, in a good way. It still sounds cohesive but it definitely makes things more interesting. 'Userspace' is another stand-out track for me. It is a bit more electronic than the previous tracks but still has those guitars, and I think the mix and arrangement in this track are great. Also 'Rootkit', which is another electronic-driven track. I really liked the melodic quality to that one.
xCessivePressure: 'Brute Force', of course, but I would add 'Shellcode' as well, because pretty much everything I'm looking for in The Algorithm is in that song.
Clarity: My favorite track was 'Pointers', because it features a great combination of electronic elements and guitars, especially solos. It has this really unique atmosphere.
GeN2Mo: In addition to 'Brute Force' and 'Boot', I'll go with 'Userspace' and 'Rootkit' as well. 'Userspace', because it has this wonderful build-up to this huge avant-garde-y climax that is almost more Igorrr-like than the collaboration track with Igorrr. And "Rootkit", because it combines this synthwave-y pumping sound with a light tremolo melody -- a bit post black metalish. I found this combination to work really well.
After getting more acquainted with the album, what is your overall impression?
xCessivePressure: I think it's a very rich album. There's a lot of top quality stuff in there. A lot of elements of different genres that are super interesting mashed together. I'll probably listen to it a lot more. My overall impression is really positive.
Clarity: I also like the album a lot. For me it was like his early releases but in an improved quality. I really like this nice guitar sound and, for example in 'Pointers', the combination of guitar and electronic parts is great. It just sounds really good.
Benanne: I agree with that. I feel it's a return to form but with improved production value and, obviously, the improved songwriting and everything that he's built up over the years. It's probably my favorite The Algorithm album yet.
Alex93: Yeah, I think this is pretty much the best The Algorithm release yet. But I didn't listen to 'Octopus4' at all, so I'm not sure if I'm qualified to be thinking that. Everything is better: the production, the songwriting, ... The dominant feeling that I got is that he's really starting to feel comfortable with his work.
Stevic: Rémi's evolving his sound and it's cool. It's a progression.
GeN2Mo: Definitely the best album up to this point, for me. I also definitely like it better than 'Octopus4', even if I really liked that one, at least after listening to it two or three times.
xCessivePressure: I would go for 8.5/10. It's an amazing album. Every song stands strong on its own and fits perfectly in the album. I did find it easier to appreciate than the previous albums. It's not my favorite overall from the Algorithm, but it's firmly in the second spot. It's a really strong album and I'll listen to it a lot more.
Clarity: Looking back at the 'Polymorphic Code' roundtable review, I gave that one 9/10, so I'll give this album 9/10 as well. That doesn't mean they are the same, of course. They are both really good, but for different reasons.
Alex93: I will give it 8/10. It could have been a 9/10. But... 'Deadlock'... I'll let that sink in in Rémi's or Igorrr's conscience... just kidding! That said, I did feel that especially on tracks like 'Shellcode' or 'Hex', the guitars were shoe-horned in. The rest of the album is really great though.
Benanne: I'm going with a solid 8/10 as well.
GeN2Mo: I'll go with 8.5/10. It's not perfect, but definitely an improvement, maybe even a huge improvement, over all of his previous work.
Stevic: For what it is: an amalgamation of two different disciplines (electronic and metal) -- never heard it done better so metrics are irrelevant.
Buy / stream the album on Bandcamp
Listen on Spotify
CDs and merch at Awesome Distro
CDs and merch at the FiXT store
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The band are currently touring Europe in support of the album.
Thanks to the reviewers, in particular Stevic MacKay for joining us! Thanks also to John Sprich and The Euroblast Collective.
Check out our previous roundtable reviews:
Meshuggah: 'Koloss' roundtable review
Veil Of Maya: 'Eclipse' roundtable review
Monuments: 'Gnosis' roundtable review
The Algorithm: 'Polymorphic Code' roundtable review
Disperse: 'Living Mirrors' roundtable review
Benea Reach: 'Possession' roundtable review
TesseracT: 'Altered State' roundtable review
Do you agree or disagree with the points raised by the reviewers? Share your insights in the comments!
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