Release Date: Oct 14, 2016
Record label: Cooking Vinyl
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative Metal, Heavy Metal, Math Rock
After nearly 20 years spent pushing, pulling, coaxing, battering, tweaking and otherwise forcibly evolving the forms metal can take on, the Dillinger Escape Plan appear to be calling it a day. But, like they've done all along, they're doing it completely on their own terms. Befitting the swansong of such a monumentally important band, Dissociation is an outright masterpiece, referencing every point in the band's consistently stunning discography while breaking more new ground than they have since Ire Works.
There are some bands who have managed to hone their craft and combine their influences so well that it’s almost impossible to apply them to any singular umbrella genre. Dillinger Escape Plan have been one of those outfits. Sure, you can label them as a band who occupy the heavier, alternative side of today’s music scene, but there’s so much more going on in their sound.
In psychiatry, dissociation is defined as: “a separation of normally related mental processes, resulting in one group functioning independently from the rest, leading in extreme cases to disorders such as multiple personality”. That is part of what comes to mind when I think of the Dillinger Escape Plan’s newest and final release, Dissociation. Though a collection of songs with a variety of emotions and energies that simmer and shoot out like sciatic nerve damage, it makes for a release that carefully ties and connects everything together as one living whole.
â€œIs it better to burn out or fade away?â€ is one of the most asked questions in music history, one that The Dillinger Escape Plan will not have to answer. Instead, the band, after earlier this year announcing Dissociation and its subsequent tour would be their last, has peacefully resigned.Itâ€™s safe to say everything about The Dillinger Escape Plan is calculated, from the intricacy of their spellbinding technical expertise to their nineteen-year career yielding only six full lengths. Dissociation is the result of careful planning, not just for a new album but as the final piece of the DEP canon.
The recent news that The Dillinger Escape Plan will shortly be no more has already prompted a flood of eulogies. Few bands as visceral and uncompromising as this one can be said to have crossed musical borders to the point that their import is recognised far beyond the extreme musical underground to which they truly belong, but Dillinger have managed it. From their brutal live performances to their explosive expulsion of genre norms, this is a band that has never cut corners, and has been rewarded by finding themselves increasingly close to the heavy music mainstream.
It's time to say farewell. After nearly two decades as one of the most trailblazing, inventive and downright destructive bands around, The Dillinger Escape Plan are calling it quits. This, their parting shot, is an 11 track masterclass that shows with crystal clarity why they have constantly led and never, ever followed.
It’s complicated... As they approach their 20th anniversary in 2017, The Dillinger Escape Plan, New Jersey’s masters of mind-mincing mathcore, are shunning the usual self-congratulatory nostalgia route by going on an “extended hiatus”. It’s a typically abstruse move from a band who have steadfastly refused to toe the line from day one. And new album Dissociation’s frequently bewildering contents seem a very fitting way to bow out.
Over nearly 20 years, Dillinger Escape Plan have established themselves as one of the most exciting and innovative acts in the metal world, running their intense exercises through math rock, prog, post-hardcore, and who knows what else. They were capable of beating listeners about the ears and lulling them into a meditative state, sometimes switching methods at the drop of a hat, sometimes doing it all at once. Their experimental tenacity seemed designed to break down any and all boundaries, and yet, unfortunately, there’s one boundary Dillinger Escape Plan can’t outlive: their own.
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 hidden-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.
With their 1998 EP Under The Running Board, the Dillinger Escape Plan forced metalcore to evolve overnight. The New Jersey quintet's stabbing, atonal guitar figures felt like Morse code from a war zone. Their rhythm section's asymmetric violence made even the heaviest breakdowns sound dated in comparison. And their blink-and-you'll-miss-'em flourishes (Was that a sequencer? A jazz lick? A friggin' circus melody?) somehow managed to defy genre conventions while making perfect musical sense.
The Dillinger Escape Plan never made things easy, either for themselves or for their fans. Their music is as challenging as anything considered, mainstream or not, and their line-up changes (most notably, their vocalist) and evolving sound have caused much frustration for those fans. It's fitting, then, that their perfectly titled new record, Dissociation, might well be their last.
With 10 feet in several camps, New Jersey's Dillinger Escape Plan whips back and forth between dissonant thrash and brooding prog rock on its allegedly final studio LP. The blazing "Limerent Death" snaps necks at 100 paces, but the lush "Low Feels Blvd" soothes the afflicted. "Honeysuckle" splits the difference, brass knuckles on one hand and a silken glove on the other.