The Dillinger Escape Plan: Option Paralysis

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The Dillinger Escape Plan: Option Paralysis
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The Dillinger Escape Plan: Option Paralysis
Hardcore, Mathcore
Season of Mist Records
March 23rd, 2010
Release length: 41:34
Myspace
The Dillinger Escape Plan is one of the most beloved bands in the Hardcore scene, as well as one of the most well known and even considered one of the most innovative thanks to various musical approaches the band has taken through the years, including releasing a single on their album Miss Machine that was an entire song, except the vocals, played backwards. On the band’s fourth album, Option Paralysis, we find this band pulling out all the stops to create a heavy and blistering release that treads more on the Math Metal side of music then their original Hardcore-influenced roots. In many ways it works out well for this group, as many of the songs sound greatly matured compared to their earlier material, but there are times where the songs just don’t work well with the calculated Math approach and sound like a random combination of noise.

While there are plenty of bands out there that seem really bring this whole Math Metal movement to a forefront that Noisecore fans would lovingly embrace if the instruments were things like garbage cans and buzzsaws, Option Paralysis has some great material, as well as some songs that bridge into clean singing and melodic metal moments, such as “Farewell, Mona Lisa”, the band’s lead single and first track off the album, and “Gold Teeth on a Bum”. These track pack a high impact kick into the music that sounds absolutely crazy and leaves you wanting more. However, that’s just the more positive aspect of the spectrum, as there are other songs on here that seem to offer music that is continuously changing to the point of being obnoxious, and completely obliterating the point of being Math Metal and verge on being a more ridiculously failed calculation of musical talent, like on the track “Crystal” which really just jumps around too much and ultimately loses it’s edge and comes across more as noise then anything else.

Option Paralysis seems to jump around between those two aspects, with more focus being laid on having songs with bite then just overkill technicality, which is terrific. However, the crowning point of this album would be the track “Widower”, which is the crowning point of the entire album. This CD doesn’t get any better then this track, which is sad as it leavesfour more songs in it’s wake that don’t quite live up to it. While it’s a bit drawn out at the end with the atmospheric pianos and closing vocals, this song focuses it’s self more around the beautiful piano composition while the signature technical music plays around in the back up and slowly builds up from the start of the song throughout to create a very unique track will leave the listener stunned no matter how many times you listen to this album. Due to this fact, “Widower” should have really been placed as the closing track, even though the songs that follow are quite enjoyable as well, with exception of “I Wouldn’t if You Didn’t” which winds up being one of those overly technical tracks that seem to jump around too much and get annoying, though the throwback to the song “Widowers” through the piano adds a bit of consistancy to the song a little too late.

As stated, there are some tracks on here that just go a little far with the technical construction to be that enjoyable, but luckily that limited to a few songs including “Crystal” and “I Wouldn’t if You Didn’t”. However, the closing track to the album, “Parasitic Twins”, which makes for a suitable end, is just a boring song all together and quite conflicts with the rest of the album. The song really lacks any real form of technical musicianship and is very weak compared to the rest of the album, and the vocals can often become quite annoying throughout the song. While the song does give off the feel of a Southern Rock-based track, especially at the very end thanks to the more blues oriented guitar solo, it simply doesn’t work and ultimately puts a quick stop on the album to the point where the listener won’t even want to really finish the album, which is sad since much of this album is a fantastic experience that greatly rivals much of what The Dillinger Escape Plan has released up to this point.

If you are a fan of The Dillinger Escape Plan, there’s no reason not to own this release. Option Paralysis is a fantastic album that seems to find the band exploring their musical abilities more then they did on any of their previous releases through Relapse Records. By continuing to experiment further with the sound, this album has managed to pull in some great intensity through fast paced technical guitars and drumming, a signature vocal style that ultimately mixes screaming to add to the sheer madness of it all, as well as clean singing to push the atmospheric and melodic elements properly. Sometimes it seems the band does go a bit too far, but there’s no denying that a good amount of this album is fantastic technical know how that meets with some commercialized sounds to create one greatly enjoyable album you’ll flock back to again and again.

01. Farewell, Mona Lisa – 5:23
02. Good Neighbor – 2:30
03. Gold Teeth on a Bum – 5:22
04. Crystal Morning – 2:02
05. Endless Endings – 2:32
06. Widower – 6:23
07. Room Full of Eyes – 4:15
08. Chinese Whispers – 4:06
09. I Wouldn’t if You Didn’t – 4:14
10. Parasitic Twins – 4:41
Overall Score: 7.5/10
The Dillinger Escape Plan (Band)
The Dillinger Escape Plan (Logo)Digital review copy of this release provided by Season of Mist Records.