Monday, October 28, 2013

"One Of Us Is The Killer" by The Dillinger Escape Plan

The Dillinger Escape Plan is a band that's been getting good press in the guitar magazines lately. During my subscription they have been the subject of at least three articles. Considering the amount of guitar work and guitar albums out there, that is certainly high praise indeed.

In the first article Guitar World described this band as "math metal," whatever that is. The guitar player was also posing holding a graphing calculator. Whatever all this meant, it sounded cool to this guy. There's never been any question about my nerdiness. The Geek Flag flies freely.

In the latest write up, the were compared to Animals As Leaders and Periphery as leaders of prog, not just prog metal, but modern prog. It was impossible to hear about this band and walk away without a desire to hear what their music was like.

In this day and age, metal comes in two primary categories, like how beer comes in ales and lagers and then splits from there, Super Mega Growl and Laid Back Groove.  The latter being my personal preference. The logical question would be into which Metal Kingdom does The Dillinger Escape plan fall?

The answer would be the square root of 7.

These fellows would definitely qualify as metal. At times during this record they growl so loudly on top of the riffing that the Heavier Than Thou motif could be a very serious turn off to the listener. I found it distracting personally, but they also nimbly weave in and out of the growls into melodic vocals full of "uncomfortable" guitars on songs like the title track, which is beyond brilliant.

Let's talk more about the uncomfortable guitars. In some riffs there are notes missing. In others, there are too many notes. Once or twice, an out of key chord may well have been struck. In an age of cookie cutter metal riffing, to call this a welcome change would be like saying Simon Pegg will make you laugh a little. (Note: He is hilarious and has brought the dry English wit to a whole new generation, but I'm off track.)

The Dillinger Escape Plan can accomplish musically in five minutes what takes traditional prog rock bands like Pink Floyd and Yes fifteen minutes to accomplish, but DEP's five minutes seem so much more insurgent because they are not taking the time to explore the message as much as they are trying to deliver it fervently. They cannot spend twenty minutes on a single message, because there too many messages to deliver.

This is a great, great album.

Year: 2013
Genre: Metal, Prog-Metal


1) Prancer
2) When I Lost My Bet
3) One of Us is the Killer
4) Hero of the Soviet Union
5) Nothing's Funny
6) Understanding Decay
7) Paranoia Shields
8) CH 375 268 277 ARS
9) Magic That I Held You Prisoner
10) Cross Burner
11) The Threat Posed by Nuclear Weapons

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