Scientist - 1010II0101Yeah, I’m pretty peeved about that title, too. In a Car Bomb-esque display of eccentricism, the experimental metal group that Dr. Fisting calls “the loudest band I’ve ever heard in a club” have offered unto the world a palindromically-titled album that’s a darling of search engine optimization but a demon for memorability. Yet for all their faux-mystery, the Chicago experimental metal outfit’s output is just as enigmatic as their moniker; an effects-swamped bouquet of sludgy riffing, hoarse roars and buzzing electronics. Somewhere in between the distinctive riffing of Leviathan-era Mastodon and the melodic sensinbility of Yellow/Green BaronessScientist took a turn into deeper water, dredging up this sophomore effort of self-described “Architectural Metal.”

[bandcamp width=90% height=120 align=center album=1884455913 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=2ebd35 tracklist=false artwork=small track=2933313575]

“The Singularity” and “Baptistina” could easily back up Brent Hinds yelling confusedly about a Herman Melville Novel but have enough flavor to differentiate themselves from any proboscidean-themed group out there. Big, blocky pylons of riff slide down a mountain of menacingly purring bass, pummeling through the speakers among weird spacey electronics and heavily processed vocals. “The Lighthouse” effectively pairs this heft with a saccharine chorus and melodic guitar solo, making for a great introduction to an offbeat and continuously transforming album.

It’s when the album hits “Gravity Well” that things get really weird. After an introduction that sounds like Frances the Mute meets Green, the band breaks out blast beats for a shouty blackened groove with a distinct progressive flourish. The song ends on a definitively triumphant note that’s truly a pleasure to hear and does wonders in justifying the song’s 7-minute runtime. Follow-up instrumental “Limb” is very much informed by Pink Floyd‘s forays into ambient music, with some Gilmour-esque noodling [David Gilmour is a true artist. He did not “noodle.” – AMG]. Scientist almost keeps up the momentum through the end of the album, delivering an awesome fuzzed-out bendy riff in “Bloodless, Breathless” but closing with the ambient title track that doesn’t do much for the album.

Scientist 2016

Production-wise, 10100II00101 sounds very bulky, like an office building sailing out of the city to wreak terror on the high seas. It’s dense and fuzzy and the variety of guitar and vocal tones come across pretty well in the mix; whatever is happening that’s new and exciting is always at the forefront, no matter how many layers of sound are being tossed around. Especially prominent is the bass, which really rattles and growls under distortion, giving the band the low-end to flesh out their huge songs. Compared to the band’s debut, the album sounds warmer and fuller but lacks some of the dynamic depth, although the album comes in at a respectable DR 8.

10100II00101 builds upon Scientist‘s debut and adds new dimensions to their sound, but shows that they still have some growing to do before they produce the high quality material they seem capable of. While there are plenty of exciting passages, the album’s songs often fail to solidify an identity for themselves despite good riffs and engaging melodies. Such is the risk with Scientist‘s experimentation; although it’s not the wackiest music out there, the band throws a lot of curveballs and ends up with an imperfect pitch. Although the album isn’t a complete success,  10100II00101 won’t fail to engage you, and Scientist remain a band worth keeping an eye on.


Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Self-released
Websites: scientistchicago.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/scientist
Releases Worldwide: Dec 11th, 2015

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  • Prostidude

    I wonder if there’s any reason other than easthetics for that title.

    • brutal_sushi

      It’s binary for “I”

      • It’s actually binary for 2661, not that it makes me any wiser. Perhaps they’re referring to the postal number of Hjerkinn in Norway, the UTF-16 unicode for a heart or the Washington House Bill against discrimination? Okay, I give up.

      • [not a Dr]

        you’re slightly more right than me.
        The end result would be True
        Science has finally published the truth.

    • [not a Dr]

      On bandcamp, the title is 1010II0101 , not 10100II00101 .
      The result of 1010II0101 is 1111
      The result of 10100II00101 is 10101

  • madhare

    Couldn’t care less about the music, but loved the review. Extra kudos for the Monty Python reference.

  • Feytalist

    Silly title; love the music.

    I definitely hear the Mastodon comparison. It’s plenty meaty – just the way I like it.

  • SegaGenitals

    “… like an office building sailing out of the city to wreak terror on the high seas” Every day at the office I pray this happens. Gold star awarded for using the word proboscidean.

    • I was thinking of The Crimson Permanent Assurance. Wonder if that was the intention?

      • SegaGenitals

        Hadn’t seen that in years, but yeah seems to be the reference.

  • William Hebblewhite

    Disappointed that the review wasn’t translated into binary.

    • sir_c

      4920646f6e2774207468696e6b20697420776f756c64206d616b6520697420612062657474657220726561642c206f7220646f65732069743f

  • André Snyde Lopes

    Come up to meet you, tell you I’m sorry, you don’t know how 011011000110111101110110011001010110110001111001 you are…

  • Daniele Cerin

    Never heard these guys before but the embedded track tickles my metal fancies.

    To the record shop!!!!!

  • Innit Bartender

    Arjen Lukassen did the binary-code title thingie what, 10 years ago? Good stuff anyway, I like what I hear.
    On completely unrelated news, AMG might want to check out the new head-image, it reads “ANGRN”, that’s not a Y, it’s a N, the Y in “GUY” is right and it’s (albeit slightly) different. The same goes for “SNOBBERN”.
    Yes, I’m a typography nerd AND a metalhead.

    • Dr_Fisting

      I built that header, and as a fellow type nerd, it bothers me too. But I can assure you that that’s a “y” and not an “n.” I did alter the “y” in “guy,” probably should’ve fixed the other one too. Good eye!

      • Innit Bartender

        hey Fisting, no worries! We’re in good company: go figure that the title of side B in Jethro Tull’s seminal Aqualung, on the back cover of the LP, should be “My God” but it’s lettered “My Eod”. That’s been troubling me for nearly 30 years!! I love love love gothic fonts but really sometimes they can make a mess. Of course, these are things of the maximum importance.

        • Dr_Fisting

          I vaguely remember the Tull thing — I think they botched it on the cassette version too!

          • Innit Bartender

            I AM NOT ALONE!!!! Thank you God!!!

        • Bathory’s Olde English logo looks like it says “Batlord.”

          • Innit Bartender

            To my knowledge, the only band who could use Olde English and get away with it is Merciful Fate.

  • Reese Burns

    I know we’re only seven days in… but come on, every review from2016 has been for mediocre albums. I wanna read about some real klunkers, or find out about some wicked new stuff!

  • Thatguy

    Very entertaining review, Kronos and I agree with your take on this album. It is well worth hearing and the best thing reviewed yet this year IMHO.

  • Sharp-Blunt Boy

    The embedded track suggests they’ve got a fairly unique proposition developing. I especially liked the interesting, clean harmonies, so will have to check out a few more tracks.

    However, they lack the courage of their scientific convictions: Like Clutch, they should have included the binary code as the main chorus, then it would have made perfect sense.

  • Kronos Sr.

    David Gilmour is a true artist. He did not “noodle.” – AMG

    I totally agree with AMG here. I thought I taught you better!

  • Scientist Chicago

    Hey guys… I’ll clear this up… I’m from scientist….it was meant to be sort of a joke…by putting a “2” into a binary code. The one’s and zero’s are blurred while the II stands out slightly. It was meant to only just be titled “II” but, I guess we didn’t get our point across. Hope this helps.
    Eric

    • Kronos

      Looks like it worked for you since nobody here is going to forget about your band for a while. Hopefully I’ll catch you guys live in Chicago. Cheers.

  • Scientist Chicago

    The album title was meant to be the number 2. In Roman numeral. It was meant to be a joke and it was never really supposed to be taken so seriously. The ones and zeros are supposed to be a little blurred while the number two kind of stands out. This obviously totally backfired on us and we’re sorry.
    Eric from scientist

    • Name’s Dalton

      No need to apologize. Least of all twice. II times. Or, if you prefer, I0I0II00I0I times.

      Wait, what? That didn’t work either? Sorry…

  • MikkoKukkonen

    I keep hearing Deftones in the embedded track..