THE NUMBER 12 LOOKS LIKE YOU – Worse Than Alone (2009)

The Number 12 Looks Like You - Worse Than Alone Let me tell you a little bit about one of my favorite metal bands ever. They’re called The Dillinger Escape Plan, and when I first heard them a year or so after Calculating Infinity was released, I was so thoroughly enamored with their godlike whirlwind of sound that I spent several years tracking down and procuring as many albums as I could by bands who were reputed to sound similar to them. Often times, this endeavor left me disappointed (case in point: Vampire Mooose’s self-titled release), but I did occasionally hit pay dirt with it. Coming into contact with The Number 12 Looks Like You’s Sad. Nuclear. Sad is one such personal success story.

Taking their name from one of the best episodes of The Twilight Zone, The Number 12 Looks Like You fuse their monstrous technicality with the sheer glee of modern grindcore. On Worse Than Alone, the band’s fourth album, they take this sound and steer it towards the dexterous prog-metal that Between The Buried and Me so expertly conveyed on Alaska and Colors. The result is an album that’s both more and less refined than its predecessors; it sounds less likely to spin off the rails and collapse under the weight of its own complexity, but it also sounds more threatening and alive and (by extension) more detailed. So in that regard, the album’s final track, I’ll Make My Own Hours is kind of like a microcosm of the album is a whole. It begins with intricate ferocity (calling to mind latter-era Today Is The Day), and over the course of nine minutes, gradually diminishes until there’s nothing left but an organ and some sparsely reversed electronics.

After the first few listens, I think I might actually prefer Worse Than Alone over Sad. Nuclear. Sad (I’ve yet to hear the band’s previous album, Mongrel). And I’m already a fan of the band. So, if you’re not, and if you’re sick of all the press that Lamb of God keep getting for rehashing the same album over and over again, grab a copy Worse Than Alone; it’ll make you realize you were missing something that you didn’t even know about.

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