The time has come. My review of One Of Us Is The Killer is here. DEP has been pretty consistent in releasing album after album that I can’t get enough of. Their song writing is always so different that it keeps my attention for longer than any other band, which is why they are my favorite. Everything they do seems to be well received by critics and fans (except for those who think calculating infinity is their only good album). Even this album, now several weeks old, has received many perfect scores and rave reviews.
and believe me, metal heads are hard to please. So what is my take? I can not say anything bad about this album.
The first thing that stood out to me after my first listen of this album: there were a lot of catchy songs. More than usual. In fact both of the songs so far have followed the formula that I talked about a lot in my first post. This song especially was stuck in my head for days. The chorus repeats many times, the lyrics are easy to remember, and of course it has the beautiful V I resolution. This makes these songs very approachable to non-DEP fans, hell even non-metal fans. The sound DEP is known for is their unsettling chaos, yet this wouldn’t put many people out of their comfort zone. It seems to me like DEP is trying to expand their audience without upsetting their core fan base, something that almost never works. What does this song bring to the core fans that will keep them around? Its the same thing that keeps me coming back. The lyrics, the themes within them are still very far from what you would normally sing along to. “every life is but a death to me” “blunt self belief too big to fall, lead shadow stands just inches tall.” I’m not going to preach about how deep and meaningful these lyrics are, but it is about something and he says it in an interesting way, while still rhyming.
This song was released ahead of time by the band, along with Prancer, while leaving all the catchy stuff for the fans to find on release day. This song is very different than what you have heard so far. This is more what should be expected out of these guys.
WHAT YOU CAN
Te way the the the rhythm is dictated by the number of syllables in the lyrical phrase is very poetic. There is no question the emotions this song wants you to feel, even if you can’t understand what he’s saying the first few times through. Fear, confusion, mixed with rebellious anger. One fo my favorite parts of this whole album is at 2:55, “on your hands and knees so you can take, all that you can” When you first here the line “take what you can” at the start, obviously the listener is in the dark as to what exactly the singer is talking about. Then he tells you about the situation that he (we) is in to recapitulate why and what we need to take all that we can of.
The last example, is my favorite song from the album. What I like about it is that this is the song that is most characteristic. It starts without warning, and you can’t expect what is coming next at any point. It spews its venom into your ears for 3 minutes and at the end you are not sure what you just listened to. I guess it is a weird thing to like that about a song. What made it my favorite is the same thing that makes Sunshine the Werewolf my favorite on that album. The music changes with the lyrics. There is some similarity to I Wouldn’t If You Didn’t from Option Paralysis here in the way the song is structured. The first section of the song, up until :54, is the end of the story. “took my lover to the sea, drowned him, precious bride to be” which is what is causing the singer to be so upset. Then the song has a section where he repeatedly asks sarcastic questions, “my aren’t you_____?” the person this is about clearly seems to portray themselves as a good person, “surely the finest of the brigade, always right a portrait of dignity” then the song changes, “wait.” Wait a minute, I know you, this is just a veil you put up, not who you really are. “you smell like shit, not the truth, full of device not devotion” “you smear your filth across the world.” My interpretation of this song, is that it is about big media outlets. They tell you the news, a tragic story like at the beginning of the song, but they don’t tell the whole truth. They all compete with each other, and talk trash about each other to try to get on top, to be the “finest of the brigade.” The truth is however they are full of device, not devotion. “to you its above as below” it doesn’t matter what kind of news it is as long as its news. “You smear your filth across the world.”
I haven’t very much talked about what I actually think about this album. Well here it is. As someone who has spent way too much time listening to this band, I don’t think this album has the depth of Ire Works, or the cohesiveness of Option Paralysis. It doesn’t hit as hard as Miss Machine, nor is it as chaotic as Calculating Infinity. What this album does have, is character. I don’t have any idea what they are “trying to say” with this album or “what it stands for,” but I know that it stands apart from the rest of their catalog with better mastering and musicianship. Mix chaos and music and you are going to get some messy songs, but there are no messy songs to be found on One Of Us Is The Killer. DEP has refined their formula for taking a mess of sound and words and putting them together to the point where their songs can be understood in fewer listens, but are catchy enough o keep you coming back for more. Is it my favorite of their albums? No, but this isn’t the album we need right now. Its the album we deserve.