It's been interesting watching New Jersey mathcore outfit The Dillinger Escape Plan develop, that's for sure. While other bands may view losing members through injury as a major setback, for them it's merely an occupational hazard (what with their live shows being the stuff of legend), and their revolving-door member policy means that their fifth album is the first one on which the band's line-up has actually stabilised from one record to the next. The DEP specialise in jaw-droppingly technical songs delivered with skill and pin-point precision, but they've always tried to push themselves, and when they've already set themselves the sort of high standard which allowed a markedly different line-up to create Ire Works in 2007 (a standard-bearer for the genre as a whole), they should know not to write themselves into a corner. The quartet managed to avoid that last time out with Option Paralysis, but this time, they've gone one better and put together one of the definitive metal albums of the year.

One of Us is the Killer certainly isn't for the faint-hearted. There are moments of crystalline melody scattered throughout the album, such as the wholly unexpected synth-backed bridge of album opener 'Prancer', but while DEP fans will be quite accustomed to the geometric time-signatures and break-neck pace of most of the album's material, the new record is actually quite a good place to start, with the slow-burning title track coming just three songs in and presenting itself as possibly the most accessible thing the band have written to date. All the same, it paints a misleading picture, as afterward we're thrown into chaos once again with 'Hero of the Soviet Union'. The album's a white-knuckle thrill ride from start to finish; even when they slow things right down for the comparatively funereal penultimate track, 'Crossburner', the track is delivered with the sort of searing intensity that's typical of the quartet, lurching from whispered verses to explosive choruses and impressive instrumental bridges with an ease which belies the technicality of the track.

Even at its most straightforward - 'Nothing's Funny' once again points to the album breaking new, more immediate ground for the band, and the powerful 'Paranoia Shields' is arguably the most conventional song they've written in years - the album's versatility is undeniable, with jagged instrumental 'CH 375 268 277 ARS' and album highlight 'Magic That I Held You Prisoner' blitzing through the middle section of One of Us is the Killer to set up a (sorry) killer one-two punch for the album's finish, with 'Crossburner' paving the way for 'The Threat Posed by Nuclear Weapons' to close the record in style. The latest album from The Dillinger Escape Plan requires as much effort to listen to as the band spent on putting it together - it's a bruising album that takes no prisoners, but perseverance is key, because it hinges on a moment in which everything falls into place. It's what you do with this sort of mind-boggling technical ability that matters most, and the band have once again delivered.