I’ll keep this one short, because on the one hand I’m not sure I have much to say about it. On the other hand, if it is possible that a mathcore band is “famous,” then Dillinger Escape Plan is that band. As far as difficult metal goes this will probably be one of the biggest releases of the year. As can be expected of such a large release, everyone who is anyone has already commented on it.
I’ve also said in the past that I want to stay focused on lesser known bands. This blog should lead people to new music and not just regurgitate what the big name reviewers are saying. That being said, DEP was basically a gateway band into the world of metal for me. Calculating Infinity blew my mind. At the time I first heard it I was totally unaware that anyone was making such technical and demanding music outside of purely academic settings.
Now that you know where I’m coming from it should make some sort of sense that I’ve been a touch disappointed at the move through their career towards more digestible and mainstream sounding music. I actually applaud the effort to draw more people into the difficulty of listening to mathcore through the use of mainstream devices and even whole songs without compromising in other places.
I scoffed at their previous release Option Paralysis as the death of DEP as we knew it. In retrospect, this was a bit overly dramatic and even uncalled for since there was plenty of intensity and mathy-ness. Now that I’ve come to terms with the direction of the band I have to say that this album actually quite exceeded my expectations.
I’m happy that they seem to have made a return back towards their roots. There is a ton of insanity and chaos in terms of tonality and rhythmic complexity which is what I look for when I’m in the mood for DEP. They do still have a large amount of straightforward, clean vocals, 4/4 rock sections. One of the weakest parts of the album is that these sections seem to actually just be rehashing earlier songs of this form they’ve done. They overuse that one chord progression which kind of annoys me.
In general, though, the variety somehow comes across as a more mature version of their earlier releases. It shows they aren’t just a one trick pony. They’ve developed a more robust musical vocabulary and use it to enhance their old idiom. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the album, but I could do without the rock sections. Since I like the direction they’re headed I’m looking forward to the next album. This was a good listen, but will probably not be making my top 10 or anything. Overall I give it a 7.5/10.
Here’s a sample: