Review Summary: When good bands write good songs.
Calculating Infinity, is without a doubt one of the best albums in history, The Dillinger Escape Plan essentially re-shaped how people would look at both Grindcore and Metalcore with this album.
Looking at DEP from a strictly technical perspective the talent of each member is undeniable, but technical prowess doesn’t always mean that a band is good. For example; the latest Between the Buried And Me album showcases incredible technical skill, but it’s also a pile of pretentious crap. This is where the difference in a band being technical and a band being The Dillinger Escape Plan is evident. Calculating Infinity is the epitome of well-structured, heavy, technical music.
Combining complex time signatures and passionate aggression, the album is the perfect example of good song writing. Every track makes use of each band member’s technical skill, but how each individual part comes together is what makes it all worthwhile. Throughout the album the listener is treated to numerous drum patterns all perfectly synchronized with the rest of the instruments, never completely dominating the sound but never being pushed about by other aspects of the band.
The guitar work is stellar, incredibly technical, at the same time crushingly heavy and all the while fitting the songs perfectly. The best part about the guitar work is that it never enters the realms of over-indulgence making the listen all that more enjoyable. The same goes for the bass work thudding along and keeping everything tightly-knit. As an additional aspect of sound the band makes use of minor levels of electronic sounds; these help not only to enhance the atmosphere of the album but also to add another aspect to the band’s overall sound.
The album itself conveys a sense of claustrophobia, every sound is layered on top of another and yet despite this piling of sounds everything is noticeably separated. Never does one sound outweigh another; no one member dominates the others. The music is so well structured that it’s almost hypnotic in the way it’s presented. The vocals are what break this trance; Dimitri Minakakis is the voice of the group, ripping through the instrumental performance asserting his presence and delivering a furious, sometimes incomprehensible message to the listener. In regard to Minakakis it’s not so much what he’s saying as it is how he’s saying it. His voice conveys a distinct sense of urgency demanding your attention.
Beyond this not much more can be said, everything on this album is perfect. There’s never a situation where the band becomes over-indulgent, there’s nothing boring, nothing is out of place, the album simply has no flaws. What The Dillinger Escape Plan accomplished with this album is beyond incredible. Never mind the influence this album had, everything on this album is beyond what just about any band could ever dream to accomplish, few bands are capable of producing an album in which there are no weak points, but this album does achieve this feat. Beyond that everything is secondary. The influence, the place in heavy music history, all of these are just additional credits the band receives for creating one of the most well designed pieces of music in history. None of it matters, because the album is perfect all on its own.