Precise chaos are words that define the New Jersey metal band The Dillinger Escape Plan. Weather you are at one of Dillinger’s famous live shows, having fire spat at you and getting near-murdered by thrashing guitars or at home having your eardrums bashed in by the punishing screams and killer guitars, one thing is clear; The Dillinger Escape Plan is not for the faint of heart.
Ever since 1999’s Calculating Infinity, The Dillinger Escape Plan has managed to avoid the “Progressive Metal” or “Metalcore” genre tags, proving their sound is truly one-of-a-kind. A heavy Mr. Bungle/Experimental influenced sound (Especially after recording Irony Is A Dead Scene in 2002 with Mr. Patton himself) along with metal, hardcore and even jazz fusion elements thrown into the blend create the unique “Mathcore” monster that Dillinger has brought to life.
The de-tuned guitar chords kicking off the album in Prancer quickly slam the listener into a state that lets them know they are in for a brutal listen. It’s disorienting, extreme, and while it may seem like there is an absence of a rhythm or pattern with the complicated time signatures present here, the chorus hits with menacing and demanding screams of Greg Puciato; “What Was Your Question!?! / Why Do You Need An Answer!?! / You Make Me Nauseous!” The jazz influence prospers on the track When I Lost My Bet, with the jazz drum patterns bouncing between sharp attacks of screams and piercing guitars. These sharp attacks are present throughout One Of Us Is The Killer, and many previous releases, specifically 2007’s Ire Works. Ire Works not only had the brutal combination of the guitar strikes and the screeching vocals, but had lots of electronic experimentation, which isn’t present on One Of Us Is The Killer.
Good music is music where you can feel the artist’s emotions through their work, and there is no shortage of emotion here, specifically, rage. In Understanding Decay, the song builds and builds until a violent explosion of anger and rage as Puciato screams “CALL THE NAME OUT! CALL THE NAME OUT! CALL THE NAME OUT!”, only to fall and build back up again. One track on here would considerably be eligible for radio-play, One Of Us Is The Killer, the title track is a slower one, with soulful falsettos and a heavy (but not disorienting) chorus.
I, myself, was recently turned on to the Dillinger Escape Plan by listening to their more accessible material like “Milk Lizard” and “Setting Fire To Sleeping Giants”, and over time, becoming more open to the heavier and more complex material. One Of Us Is The Killer is one of the most unique metal records to be released this year (while TDEP is one of the most unique metal bands of the 2000’s.) Though this record is fully capable of scaring small children and old ladies, it is definitely worth a listen from metal fans, hardcore fans, or frankly anyone who is both angry and likes having their eardrums bashed in.