"The sound of the future now." - KERRANG! "Raging, intricate, screaming prog-metal" - SPINTHE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN unveil Miss Machine, the much-anticipated follow up to their groundbreaking Calculating Infinity album. Merging unparalleled musical bravery, … see full wiki
Another Dillinger Escape Plan album, another blitz of crunchy staccato rhythms, insane vocals, and frenetic rhythmic virtuosity.
But what's different?
DEP has added a bit more variety to their sound since their last full-length, _Calculating Infinity_. So apparently the crafty diversity of the _Irony Is A Dead Scene_ EP was not attributable solely to Mike Patton's involvement. There was some early buzz about this album being toned relative to previous DEP releases, with people saying it was "more melodic" and "less crazy" and what not. This is misleading, in my opinion. The opener, "Panasonic Youth", in 2 1/2 minutes lays down concrete-heavy slabs of metallic vitriol, delivering a polymetrical bludgeoning with enough time changes to knock any prog fan back on his azz. It is an opener that stands strong beside anything in DEP's catalogue. Then comes "Sunshine the Werewolf", with roaring speed, kinked rhythms, huge clomping riffs and...a catchy chorus?! Sounds hazardous, but DEP's craftsmanship cannot be faulted and nowhere do their 'catchier' ambitions lapse into cheesiness or shallowness. They use their hooks to grab you and their complexity to keep you coming back.
So, best to think of it not as anything "toned down", but rather a full album of material in the vein of the _Irony Is..._ EP. Stylistically, the vocals are more along the lines of the EP. There is actually quite a bit of singing on this album (compared to _Calculating Infinity_, which was basically all screaming), and a good variety of bloodcurdling screams. Is the new vocalist, Gred Paciuto, trying to sound like Patton? It's an impossible feat, so most vocalists should not be encouraged to try it. But Paciuto, while obviously trying to emulate Patton to some extent, deserves tremendous credit for serving the music incredibly well. He does have a good supply of Pattonisms -- "Unretrofied" even sounds like an outtake from _Album of the Year_, due in no small part to the singing. And his screaming is awesome. With the last EP, DEP kind of revised the role of the vocalist in the band. The new vocalist tackles that role adroitly.
All of the songs are outstanding, even tracks where DEP's usual insanity is considerably tempered, like "Highway Robbery" -- which might have been a some kind of punk song were it not for the major chops and syncopation -- and the polyrhythmic, industrially-inflected "Phone Home". Still, the best songs those that embrace the band's lust for speed, assaulting rhythmic power, fragmented melodies, and complex tempo changes: songs like "We Are the Storm", "The Perfect Design", "Van Damsel", and "Panasonic Youth" are some of the most delicious in their catalogue.
Probably their best album so far.
(Btw, the deluxe edition of this album comes with a DVD footage from various DEP live shows. Personally, I think it's pretty much worthless, since the footage is horrible and the sound quality sucks azz. But who cares, the cd is awesome.)
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