Over the years, the stigma around being a metal fan and liking other (and, for the most part, generally more mainstream) genres has gradually deteriorated, leaving a vapid space for genres to blend and flourish into one another, and thrive with this decline in elitism. Sometimes, as the whole idea of trial and error goes, some of these ideas flop and fail miserably (we’re looking at you, Brokencyde), but there are without a doubt a few gems to be found throughout the years. One of the UK’s more notable mish-mash talents in metal comes from The One Hundred.
Coming at us with an album bearing a title that has as stark of a contrast as their blending of sounds and inspirations, ‘Chaos + Bliss’, an effort that was a long-time coming since their 2014 ‘Subculture’ EP, sees the London four-piece tread the territories of nu-metal, hip-hop, pop, grime, R&B, metalcore, electronica, and several others inbetween across the just over 40-minute long outing.
The one-two smack of ‘Monster’ and ‘Disengage’ both focus on chaos fulled aggression and anger as much as they do the blissful electronic overlays and sweeping soundscapes. ‘Dark Matters’ has a definite influence from the initial nu-metal explosion present, evidently an era that reared them from youths to the musicians they are today, ‘Boomtown’ has mosh pit dance inducer written all over it, and ‘Blackjack’ will easily appease those who love to bang their head into bangover central as much as they love singing along to those sweet pop melodies.
Leaving the best ’til last, the record’s title-track is a fast-paced and straight-to-the-point affair that doesn’t hold back. The thick buzzsaw distorted guitar lines leads us fast into the battalion that ensues, with a crushing drum line soon coming into ensure we get there nice and fast. Some sadistic-esque cheering helps to compose the chorus into a call-to-arms affair, before leading us into a bombastic closer in ‘Feast’. Those of you partial to some mellow R&B stick around a little while after the song finishes, and you’ll soon find yourself a little treat in a quick untitled bonus track, which we’re gonna call ‘Keep It 100’.
What makes ‘Chaos + Bliss’ such a primed, streamlined, and well worth the wait listen is how, despite this flurry of sounds and influences, none of it comes across a sickly schtick or dreadfully dated. Sure, there’s been a resurgence and resurrection in nu-metal over the past few years, and, though The One Hundred could fall into that revival movement, there’s a lot more here to set them apart from that.
It’s hard to think of a band who’ve been as willing and successfully able to blur and bleed genres into one another with such ease and aplomb in the UK since Enter Shikari. They’ve not held back in exploring and pushing forward every corner of where their sound can take them at this stage in their careers. It’s hard to see The One Hundred not explode come album number two.
Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)