2018 has definitely been the year of synths combined with metal genres across a whole array of different styles from hardcore, instrumental bands, black metal to tech metal. The fusion of these has spanned from a simple choir background to an outright dubstep breakdown of intermittent blasts and twerking bleeps.
After venturing into the video game world with the crowd funded RogueStar: Pirates VS Privateers back in 2014, The Algorithm have returned from their almost half a decade long slumber with their latest offering, ‘Compiler Optimization Techniques’.
Tantalisingly riding the waves between a symphonic video game soundtrack and progressive metal, opener ‘Cluster’ is a showcase of scales and abruption between the two genres, regularly fluctuating in both pace and style. Only slowing for a few moments and introducing purposeful digital errors, it’s an entertaining opener, but often resorts to a common use of scaled riffs and notes.
Ensuring that not everything is lost in space and time, ‘Binary Space’ introduces frenetic metal intermixed with underground rave dance beats before transversing into a full speed onslaught of synths and open guitars.
Like a 1990s or early 2000s trip-hop track, ‘Fragmentation’ spaces out with an introduction of dissonant distance that is eventually conjoined with the resounding sound of guitars that focus more on building a backbone of rhythm to the proceedings rather than overshadowing them.
Not belying the truth from meaning, ‘Superscalar’ is a constant railroad of symphonic scales for the majority of its duration, only interspersed with momentary collaborations of drums and guitars or electronic moments of disruption.
Despite the unique interplay and use of what nowadays would be called “out-dated” electronic instrumentation, ‘Compiler Optimization Techniques’ and its constant scales of notes becomes dull and slightly repetitive.