Review Summary: Accessible yet wildly chaotic, Option Paralysis delivers a diverse mix of aggressive surrealist music.
This album is definitely loud & frenetic throughout most of its duration. Please, bid your welcome to DEP's latest offering, because it deserves a lot of welcome. Mind you, I'm not totally on-top of DEP's works, only the debut and this album, so I won't try to act like I know a whole lot about how each and every album works and all that. Anyways, enough of that, read on to what matters.
The seal-loving folks at DEP are pretty damn creative with their craft. They blend a chaotic mix of oddly timed mathcore (which the sub-sub-genre is all about) with ambient/electronica background effects, highly technical thrash metal, and whatever else they're willing to throw in. All of this allows for variety on the album, which is refreshing to say the least. You can hear it all in the opening track alone, "Farewell, Mona Lisa", which is a terrific opener I have to say. Greg Puciato knows how to handle his voice, and he's not afraid to try various styles. The new drummer is terrific, even though I'm not too familiar with previous drummer Sharone's style. He pummels the drums like he's had one too many cups of coffee. The guitarist and bassist are also quite crazy. That's all on the opening track.
The mathcore element kicks in full-time in the next track, Good Neighbor. Time signatures are all over the place, and it is a highly technical riff-fest. At the halfway point, the song takes on a groovy tone, with a somewhat Punk-rock touch. If anyone needed a rest from the previous song, this tune won't do that for them!"Gold Teeth On a Bum" slows things down quite a bit, and Greg sings more than he screams, especially during the choruses. The variety on the album should start becoming obvious to the listener at this point.
Fourth track in, and you'll be reminded of the second song right away. This happens to be the shortest on the album, but the tempo of the song reflects that. They also throw in The Daughters-esque riffs, which sound schizophrenic to say the least. Neat! Oh, and speaking of The Daughters-esque riffs, that's how "Endless Endings" opens itself up. The tempo didn't slow down at all, either. The guitarist has fun shredding it up in a thrash metal fashion, and Greg Puciato flexes his vocal muscle again.
Variety makes its mark in the next song, "Widower", which includes a classical piano! Greg shows at this point that he's a capable singer, with a very soft, and quiet tone. The Mike Patton influence kicks off when the piano element makes its exit, for the most part. There's a lot more ambiance to make for atmosphere, and not too much in the way of the guitars. Up to the end of the song, the pianos make a glorious return. This makes the song one of the best on the album, right up there with the opener.
Mathcore and Doom metal are the flavor of the day on "Room Full of Eyes", where the tempo and technicality jump all over the place. Also, Greg tries another vocal style on this track. When will he stop? No one should ask him to stop, though, he knows how to keep the listener intrigued.
Some more ambiance leads us into the next track. The beat in the song is more stable, less frantic. There doesn't seem to be any chorus in the song, but that doesn't mean that Puciato doesn't try his hand at interesting singing. Then comes the Mathcore element again. The drummer was probably told to lose his inhibitions for "I Wouldn't If You Didn't." It's a very technical song, and everyone seems to have a great time in it.
Normally the closing track for those who own the regular edition of the album, "Parasitic Twins" makes use of the band's electronic influences to be an effective closer. Plus, Puciato sings on pretty much the entire track, especially during the piano parts. Plus, the guitarist tosses in an old-style guitar solo to lead us into the end.
For those of us, including myself, who have the digipak edition, the additional track is an electronica-laden and shortened remix of the song "Widower." It's a little creepy in parts, and even seems to include a light vocal orchestra.
There you have "Option Paralysis", a solid album from a solid Mathcore outfit. I've seen them described as "the Band of Spastic Retards", possibly because they go all over the place in terms of song tempo. That somewhat rough description is fitting, and the band seems to embrace it gleefully.