The Dillinger Escape Plan’s Disassociation: An Album Review

Album Cover

The metal world has become one of the most over saturated of all musical subcultures. There is so many different sub genres and distinctions between each band. To an outsider it can really just become a shitload of the same old music, but to the fans it can be broken down in a family tree so elaborate that your time could be spent doing something much more productive. Like actually getting your REAL work done, but who actually wants to do that?

New Jersey Mathcore band The Dillinger Escape Plan is one of those unique bands that can be hard to classify. Now some traditional metal heads will see the word “core” and already start rejecting the band and everything they stand for. The band is one of the most “hardcore” you’ll see these days. This is a band notorious among their fan base for the destruction at their concerts. Front man Greg Puciato can be seen covered in his own blood at the band’s set at the 2013 Golden God Awards, a viral heavy metal award show. Dillinger is a band unafraid of fitting in and are just here to make the music they want to make.

The Dillinger Escape Plan

“Well, I think in some ways we wanted to pull a Seinfeld and go out while we’re still on top, you know what I mean?” said guitarist Ben Weinman to Noisey magazine.

Their last album alluded to tensions among band members Puciato and Weinman, but this breakup seems to be more of an artistic choice as opposed to a vehement one.

With their latest Disassociation the band has begun its swan song. It makes sense. A band with their rebellious energy and image can only go so far. Even Metallica has become a bunch of happy dads playing their old music without the original ferocity. While this album does not top the melodic eccentricity of their 2013 outing One Of Us Is The Killer, the band does the best to put a fitting end to their 20 yearlong experiment of pushing metal music to its logical limit.

Limerent Death

An important moment is the album’s lead single and opener “Limerent Death”. The band is not messing around with their final outing. Within ten seconds, drummer Billy Rymer does a small fill leading into the band the whole band kicking in riffs as Puciato shrieks his lyrics. His voice is a mix of Jello Biafra, Trent Reznor and Mike Patton. The song starts off with a heavy descending riff which evolves into traditional Dillinger mayhem with a powerful mid-section where Bassist Liam Wilson takes control with his crunchy bass. The song ends where it began, a descending riff with Puciato repeating the line “I gave you everything you wanted you were everything to me” over and over until the song closes. This is one for the gym without a doubt.

For the rest of the album the band shoots off into various directions as they longer need to worry about longevity and sound consistency. However, the lack of consistency is a positive thing as I often had a fear of this band becoming predictable. When first hearing “Wanting Not So Much As To” it sounds as if Dillinger is just doing Dillinger, however the song veers off into its own Gothic tempo. “Low Feels Blvd” becomes a jazzy surprise by the end. “Apologizes Not Included” show the band still has that hardcore punk energy that is the core of their sound.

The band has also surprises the listener with including industrial and electric elements to their sound. “Fugue” is an odd album filler with no metal instrumentation, but rather electrical noises with a dominant buzzing noise running rampant at an anarchic tempo. The album could do without “Fugue”, but songs like album closer “Disassociation” uses the industrial feel to create what feels like a real song in comparison.

It was odd seeing a band as hard as Dillinger go out with a softer song like “Disassociation”, but it seems to be a tradition to close their albums with melodic compositions.

Metal is often not as appreciated as an art form as it should be. The end of Dillinger is a downer, but it makes sense. As Greg Puciato has said before, the band is indifferent to what people think. This is a group with a giant cult following with a sound and live show that 50 year old people just cannot do. Dillinger will leave a legacy. A band that lived by its own rules, found their own success and went out on their own terms. Rest in peace Dillinger. They’re better off going out on top as opposed to creating fake music.

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