Album Review: Polyphia’s New Levels New Devils
Texas-based shredders Polyphia boast that their third full-length album, New Levels New Devils, is “probably the best music in the history of music.” That’s typical of the tongue-in-cheek tone the band often adopts in their online social presence. But make no mistake — New Levels New Devils isn’t a joke.
Polyphia have come a long way from their djent roots. While it may disappoint fans hoping for Renaissance Part 2, New Levels New Devils continues the more avant-garde, genre-bending approach of the band’s 2017 EP, The Most Hated — they even enlisted up-and-coming hip-hop and electronic producers like Y2K (Killy, Yung Bans) and Judge (Migos & Marshmello, Young Thug) to help create the album. This current amalgamation of prog-hip-hop-trap-metal-whatever is uncharted territory that may leave the listener asking “What fucking genre of music is this?”, but that’s not a bad thing. The drums, by Clay Aeschliman, may generally sound more electronic than they have in the past, but the same annoyingly catchy, bombastic guitar-work that make Polyphia great remains intact.
Just as on they did on their first full-length, 2014’s Muse, Polyphia here enlist a slew of guest guitarists. Each add their own flare to the material, from Chon’s Mario Camarena and Erick Hansel on “Yas” to Mateus Asato on “Drown” to Ichika on “Death Note” to Covet’s Yvette Young on “Rich Kids.” The most impressive cameo might be that of virtuoso Jason Richardson (ex-Born of Osiris, ex-Chelsea Grin, etc.), who contributes a filthy solo to “Nasty,” a track that starts off being pleasant and airy before progressively building into a funky riff and booming bass loud enough to shake the room.
New Levels New Devils might not be considered a full-on metal release, but if you’re a fan of The Most Hated, you’ll probably go apeshit over New Levels New Devils. If not, resist the urge to pass and give New Levels New Devils a spin anyway, ’cause this shit bumps. New Levels New Devils is catchy and fun to listen to. And if you’re feeling really exxxtra, it provides enough bass to blare while cruising around in your Benz with the windows rolled down, looking like the biggest Chris Fronzak on the block.