Review Summary: Mathematical, dissonant, harsh and speedy; one of the most groundbreaking albums ever to be recorded.
I remember how I was in my metalcore/pop punk period when I first decided to give this album a listen. And I can also remember how much I hated it at first, it was just so extremely loud and complex. But when I finally digged it, it felt like the beginning of a musical relation that I have preserved long after the double-bass epileptica of Sugar Coated Sour sounded into my eardrums.
The album start with a very unconcealing track, that immediately shows the musicianship the band maintains; Harsh, glaring vocal-screams combined with extremely dissonant and fast drum- and guitarwork. The stuttering madness that the first song of the album represents suddenly halts, entering a chromatic progression before flowing into a jazz solo. The song ends with a high pitched scream, almost immediately flowing into 43% burnt, the second and more famous track of this record. A breakdowny (is that even a word?) intro featuring drum and guitar suddenly halts and starts again, now accompanied by Dimitri's enraged screaming about the odour of a prostitute. The rest of the song carries on, with polyrhytmic progressions you can set your watch to. It eventually ends with a fade-out, a rather curious end for a mathcore song. JIM FEAR!, Dimitri suddenly screams at the top of his lungs over a raging drummer who hits the snare faster than an epileptic kid on a container full of steroids. An aggresive song with a slightly different lyrical approach than the other tracks, employing the fictional "Jim Fear" who sits around the house all day, jacking off to "bash-her and slash-her porn".
As the track concludes, the song *#. makes it entry, a refreshing break from the pure rage that the past songs have offered. The song starts of with vague samples, which fade away to a layered drum-guitar interlude. It eventually results in The Running Board, a track that picks up where Jim Fear had halted; mathematical brutality. Halfway the song a female scream of terror is heard, announcing the haunting section that follows. Dimitri quietly whispers vocals while Ben Weinmann lets his guitar do the talking; a beautiful melody results. The atmosphere abruptly changes, the harsh vocals return and the complex drum-patterns follow. Clip The Apex...Accept Instruction blasts off. The first 10 seconds or so give the impression that this is going to be a less complex song. Answer? Wrong. A extremely irregular riff kicks in, even surpassing the mathclass that has been going on since the beginning of the album. The song ends in a bucket of noise, noise and more noise. It keeps increasing and increasing, becoming so loud that it may cause hearing discomfort, before finally flowing into the first note of the jazzy Calculating Infinity, employing clean guitars as well as complex rhytms, plus beautiful chord progressions.
4th Grade dropout seems to follow the second track, 43% Burnt, untill the second minute or so; the mathcore violence halts and the band enters a groove in 4/4, showing how much Dillinger can achieve without complicated time-signatures. The experience is almost over, as the rambling drums of Weekend Sex Change make their entry. The track has a ambient, dark atmosphere over it; it can be compared to that one may experience while walking though a misty forest in the dead of night. "Crime never pays, crime never pays" is looped throughout, with an incomprohensible speech going on in the background. As the track concludes with dissonant guitar chords played in raped succesion, it almost seems like the tenth and eleventh track of the album are one, as they connect so incredibly well. Variations on a Cocktail dress kicks in, sounding like the aggresive songs but with a more haunting atmosphere. "Don't, you, spill it!". Kaboom. Four minutes of complete silence follow. Eventually, a sample from "The Diary of Anne Frank" can be heard.
I've heard many people use the word intense to describe an experience, mostly undeservingly or in the wrong context. But when I say this album is intense, you'd better believe it is one mind***ing experience.