14 November 2016

Dillinger Escape Plan - Dissociation

To be able to go out on top of your game, in way of your own choosing and that gives you control of your own destiny must be something amazing to feel.  When Dillinger Escape Plan announced that their sixth studio album 'Dissociation' was to be their last after the end of the tour schedule, it was met with a sadness and also a hell of a lot of respect for calling time on their own terms.  Their last album 'One Of Us Is The Killer' (link to our review here) was a fantastic album and whilst it might have seemed like it was a little too accessible, it was also a fierce beast that would make people of a nervous disposition faint or run for cover.  So, knowing that this is the end, knowing that after this it is all over, the question is this - will it be a last hurrah or will it be a bit of a damp ending?  Only one way to find out......

01 - Limerent Death

As you would expect, there is no time wasted with a long and cumbersome introduction, a small drum roll and then it is straight into a grinding riff that will have people making their decision on the band within the briefest of moment.  It then erupts into the angular mathcore that has always been their calling card and it feels like you are being hit by a shockwave from beginning to end.  It is aggression incarnate and it is a glorious being to this album, attack, attack, attack…...

02 - Symptom of Terminal Illness

Slowing down the speed, but not the aggression, ‘Symptom of Terminal Illness’ reminds me of their ‘Miss Machine’ period when they were starting to stretch their collective wings.  A song about the fragile nature of our existence and how it can sometimes go south, the band are showing the panic behind these incidents and how it can all feels out of your control as you plead for more life.  It is a terrifying number about one of humanities most common fears, a brave number.

03 - Wanting Not So Much to As To

Back on the attack and sounding like a machine gun being used in indiscriminative bursts, ‘Wanting Not So Much to As To’ is not an easy song for many people with its frantic drumming, constantly changing guitars and bass that is lynching it all together as the vocals are screamed right into you face.  Even when it breaks down in the mid-point, you are awaiting the inevitable attack - just what you want from Dillinger Escape Plan.

04 - Fugue

Using electronic percussion to start the song, this song is in one breath a kinder one to the soul and in another it is a bomb track that will make a lot of people confused and scared.  For me, it reminds me a lot of Aphex Twin who has at times reminded me a lot of Dillinger Escape Plan.  It does not stay out its welcome and it makes sense that this instrumental made the cut, a great edition to their back catalogue.  

05 - Low Feels Bvld

We are soon thrown back into the changeable landscape that is DEP all too soon with ‘Low Feels Bvld’ and you are not allowed to get your bearing as everything is brought smashing into from all directions.  It is a violate number to begin with, then it hits an almost lounge style in the middle to give us (and probably the band) a few seconds to collect our thoughts.  It actually sounds a little bit Zappa in that middle section, that gains really high brownie points in my books for that moment alone.

06 - Surrogate

Oh, you strange men, how you make the world very complicated in places.  It is very technical in places with strange time signatures and riffs; then the chorus is almost punk in places, the bridge heads to a heavier Sabbath sound and it is all mixed together in a way that could only be completed by these crazy people.  Then they turn it on its head once again and you have to get your senses and bearings once more.  It is songs like this that I am going to miss from this band when they are gone, especially the strange noises at the end of it.

07 - Honeysuckle

To have a stop/start riff that sounds like an attack at the beginning of a song might be old hat now, but these guys seems to have always do this better than the rest.  Changing between frantic and lounge in a way that would make Faith No More confused, this is mathcore at its most primal and honest.  It keeps time going and it also has some slow grinding passages that make the hairs on your head stand on end.  Another great song….

08 - Manufacturing Discontent

At this point, a lot of people will probably be beaten to a pulp and have reached for something a little smoother.  But if you are listening to Dillinger Escape Plan, the chances of you wanting an easy ride are small indeed.  Manufacturing Discontent’ is another piece of sonic sound attack, it is relentless and even when it drops down a notch, you are not given a chance to rest as it keeps trying to find different ways to break you.

09 - Apologies Not Included

I like this song, it does exactly what it says on the tin – it is not an apology and there will be none forthcoming from the band; what you have on ‘Apologies Not Included’ is a mixture of sublime jazz, crazy-assed guitar playing, a frantic drumbeat that sounds as if it is one moment away from self-destruction and vocals that sound as if they are fighting from beginning to end.  No apologies offered and none required, this is brilliant and will offend many people.

10 - Nothing to Forget

‘Nothing to Forget’ for me is the only song on this album that I have not been able to enjoy or make peace with, it seems a little too safe to a certain degree.  The notes are noting going crazy, you only have a brief burst from the drums and that is about it.  Even the edition of strings could not perk my interest at this point; but with that being said, it is still better than a lot of other songs being released on a daily basis.  It is just a little poor in comparison to the rest of the album.

11 - Dissociation

So, were you expecting them to go out on all cylinders or to go sideways once again?  Of course, they went sideways!  This is another electronica influenced piece and the strings are brought back into the mix as the band create music that will loosen spines, minds, fillings and bowels when played at the right volume.  It is a song about having to move on and not being able to stay, the vocals are beautiful here and the music is everything you would expect from Dillinger Escape Plan – it might change a little in style, but it is still a song that have confrontational elements in the mix and I love that they are ending this record on a piece that is very unsettling and obtuse by design.  What a wonderful way to call time on your career.

The words I am looking for are Fucking Hell….  If that is their way of leaving us, then they have gone out on such a high level.  There is so little on here which is not perfectly placed, even ‘Nothing to Forget’ is worth a listen (whilst still being the poorest track on offer here).  Is it their best moment?  No, I still rate ‘Miss Machine’ over ‘Dissociation’ and that is not a bad thing.  They have not tried to make an album that sounds like anything they have done before; they have tried to make an album that brings things to a close and it is still forward facing and aggressive as hell.  I will miss this band, they were always different from beginning to end – the Kings are dead, long live the Kings.

8.5 out of ten – Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my time, money and heart.

Top track – Manufacturing Discontent

You can purchase Dissociation on Amazon here.

You can visit the Dillinger Escape Plan website here.

You can follow the activities of Dillinger Escape Plan on Facebook here. 

You can stream Dissociation on Spotify here. 

You can stream Dissociation on Deezer here. 

You can stream Dissociation on Tidal here.

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