The sound of insanity is often times pretty good. Realistically, it's hard to mess up something chaotic, as long as there's reason to the madness. You can listen to chaos unfold in Algiers' The Underside Of Power, from swelling explosions to focused moments of delirium.
Things start controlled to begin the album. 'Walk Like A Panther' opens The Underside Of Power with an aggressive start, deeply distorted guitars backing tribal yells. If anything, it's definitely a capturing intro that very much sets the tone of the record. 'Death March' is similar in purpose to this track, it's rampant beat building grandly as many great melodies start working together to build something truly immense.
There's a side of the record that is almost soft, too, but never for too long. Songs like 'A Murmur. A Sign' are genuinely more restrained, the chaos taking a more personal delivery instead being starkly apparent in the sonic atmosphere. Others like 'Mme Rieux' start dramatically with a quiet piano intro, but by the end have a huge atmosphere - in this song's case, its as if you're being sucked into a black hole.
Despite the two extremes, you definitely find yourself on the rampant side more so than you do on the quiet side in The Underside Of Power. As the record progresses, you can't help but get lost not only in the album's sound but your own mind as well. Tracks like 'Animals' that are a piledrive from start to finish really throws your own mind into a frenzy, the very definition of chaos to you being the only thing that can fill your mind. This all plays towards the album's narrative of power, really. It can bring you to the edge in different ways; sometimes it will hit you all at once, and other times it'll come in slowly. Regardless, it all ends up the same way.
You can listen to chaos unfold in Algiers' The Underside Of Power, but watch out. This album will wrap you into its chaos and envelop your mind in it, such that all you can think of is insanity. Perhaps if you listen to this album long enough, you'll really be driven insane. Perhaps that's not a truly horrible thing, if this album has anything to say about it.
Favorite Tracks: Mme Rieux, Death March, Walk Like A Panther
Least Favorite Track: Cleveland
Rating: 79 / 100
Stream or buy The Underside Of Power here: