Review Summary: Option Paralysis is a gleaming beacon of originality, rich creativity, and pure entertainment. And with it, The Dillinger Escape Plan has become one of few bands to release more than one masterpiece in their career.
Thank God for The Dillinger Escape Plan. Since their legendary debut, Calculating Infinity, they have been writing music kilometers outside the box, while most other bands stayed safely contained inside the walls, pumping out the same music over and over again. Dillinger has provided listeners with new and fresh perspectives on not only metal, but music in general. And Option Paralysis does that again, but possibly at the band's most wildly original and entertaining.
Though only an average 10 songs long, listening to the album is still an incredible journey. It opens with the fantastic track "Farewell, Mona Lisa," a song there is simply not enough good things to say about. The song begins with about 2 minutes of Dillinger's well-known mathcore madness, made up of Greg Puciato's crushing yells and Ben Weinman and Jeff Tuttle's mind-blowingly technical and fascinating guitarwork. But then the chaos smoothly fades into a chilling interlude, where we hear Greg's amazing singing voice, which then goes into a nearly scary build-up, and goes out with a bang. If you don't get lost in this song, trust me, you will at some point throughout the album.
After "Farewell, Mona Lisa" comes "Good Neighbor," a pretty standard heavy Dillinger song, much like the Miss Machine classic, "Panasonic Youth." Standard, but by no means dull or uninteresting. Then follows "Gold Teeth On A Bum", another amazing mix of brutality and an epic chorus you just cannot help but sing along to. I have a hunch some people may mistake the next two songs, "Crystal Morning" and "Endless Endings" for filler, but if one listens to them perceptively, he'll find they are anything but. They both have more than one trait setting them apart from each other, they both have a place on the album, and they both fucking own.
The next song is "Widower," one of my favorites on the album, and possibly one of my favorite Dillinger songs. It's so ridiculously unique, but so full of real and raw emotion, you can tell the band didn't write it just for the sake of being unique. If you were losing an ounce of interest at all during the songs before this one, this one will suck you right back in.
After "Widower" comes "Room Full of Eyes," this song's most recognizable trait being the ***ing crazy-epic breakdown about halfway through the song. Or the 10-second only-drums-and-vocals intro. After that is another one of my favorites, "Chinese Whispers," sporting definitely some of my favorite lyrics on the album. "On your deathbed, nobody stops by/I remember when you thought you would never die/With your head high, go to sleep forever/It's your last endeavor/Who could do it better?" Awesome.
The second-to-last song, "I Wouldn't If You Didn't," just leaves the listener in absolute awe. Waking you the *** up with more math-anarchy and going through a passage that could validly be considered noise, then switching up to a very atmospheric-sounding bridge led by piano, and with lyrics I interpret to be about the hypocrisy and the pure absurdity of religion. (For the song closes with Greg straining and pounding into your ear, "suffering is not love!") And the album comes to a close with the soothing and refreshing "Parasitic Twins," another song that's almost completely something that Dillinger hasn't done before.
The album coming to an end is much like the final day of the life of your 94-year-old grandfather. You're disappointed that it's over, but you know that he lived a full and happy life, and did everything he wanted to do. The difference is with the death of your grandpa, you may be feeling a little more sad, and with the end of Option Paralysis, you feel utterly satisfied.
There is one other thing I'd like to say. It's directed towards the people who think The Dillinger Escape Plan should stick to the no-clean-vocals, strictly brutal mathcore sound of Calculating Infinity, and think the band "sold out" by acquiring a vocalist who does more than just a raspy scream, and writing songs that change time signatures less than 4 times. The Dillinger Escape Plan has always been a band that does things differently, a band that isn't restricted by genre or anything else. Read the lyrics to "Farewell, Mona Lisa." It's about you assholes.