The Dillinger Escape Plan - Dissociation

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The famously technical New Jersey band ends their career with one final album of squealing riffs, dizzying musicianship, and plenty of nostalgia for their heyday.

The Dillinger Escape Plan's blend of extreme harshness and technicality had a seismic impact on the metal and hardcore underground with the release of their 1999 full-length debut Calculating Infinity. Not unlike those ’90s-era hidde image 3D-posters, the New Jersey quintet’s transfiguration of progressive metal influences like Meshuggah, Carcass, Human Remains, and Deadguy required a cognitive shift to recognize the detail and structural complexity under all the noise. From that point on, DEP have shown a hunger for pushing boundaries while attempting to stay true to their essence.

Every post-Calculating Dillinger Escape Plan album has contained head-scratching deviations from the original sound, something founding guitarist Ben Weinman and the original lineup once defined so clearly. By their last two albums, Option Paralysis and One of Us Is the Killer, the band had settled into marrying their signature mathcore style with high concentrations of melody and mid-tempo groove. As capably as they had found a middle ground, those albums pointed to a holding pattern. Dissociation, the band’s sixth and final album, touches often on the now-familiar template of pounding, grindcore-level noise flurries that once shook the world. Of course, Dillinger Escape Plan take sharp turns away from that template as well—often in the same song.

Dissociation hits its stride when the band grafts new elements onto its classic sound—something that, for all their chops, hasn’t been easy to pull off in the past. In one four-song stretch, Dillinger Escape Plan stride across a variety of styles as confidently as the one they invented. “Fugue,” the first of those four tracks, tastefully emulates Squarepusher's hyper-busy brand of synthetic future jazz before opening up into a vista of delicate, gloomy ambiance. “Fugue” makes you wish that Dillinger Escape Plan did a few more Aphex Twin covers or collaborate on a split with Squarepusher. It’s the first of several reminders that they are leaving some untapped potential on the table as they close out their career.

1. Limerent Death
2. Symptom Of Terminal Illness
3. Wanting Not So Much As To
4. Fugue
5. Low Feels Blvd
6. Surrogate
7. Honey Suckle
8. Manufacturing Discontent
9. Apologies Not Included
10. Nothing To Forget
11. Dissociation