What do you get when you take face-melting riffs and mix it with blistering vocals and cun
t-smashing drums? A hospital visit on a disc, that's what. And that's exactly what Calculating Infinity
is. A car crash at 90 mph on a four lane highway after you fly into a rock wall, smash into a tree, and flip six times before you end up in oncoming traffic and get plastered by an 18-wheeled big rig, thrown out of the car, and massacred by any combination of Fords, Toyotas, and Hondas you choose. Brutal, eh? Good, because that's what The Dillinger Escape Plan is all about. Smashing your face in and never letting up until the record's over.
Now that I got that rambling out of the way, I can talk about the music. You like chaos, yes? Of course you do, or else you wouldn't have meandered your way through my incomprehensible intro. This is the album for you. So-called "math metal" on steroids and blended with free-jazz. Guitarists Ben Weinmen and Brian Benoit crank out enough nasty riffs to make your mother cry. Listen to "Sugar Coated Sour
" and tell me otherwise. Also noteworthy is the insanity-incarnate drumming of Chris Pennie. He's done his homework, and it most certainly shows, noticable as soon as the album starts with Sugar Coated Sour. It's a fairly good representation of the album, as it's all in that same style of ripping your head off with more odd time signatures than you can count, while vocalist Dimitri Minakakis screams incomprehensibly over the top of it all.
That's all he really does here, but he's good at it, so it's allowable. "43% Burnt
" is a prime example, and a standout track. It's also home to some of the craziest guitar work here, and some rather impressive drumming to boot. Pennies machine-like repetition of rudiments and all-around kooky-ness is a sight to see (or hear, as the case may be). A little before the halfway mark is one of Dillinger's famed "jazz interludes," in which they stop being angry and make slightly mad, almost melodic, riffs in a short but sweet break from chaos.
Throughout the half hour grind-fest, there's a couple interlude tracks. Unlike what you'd probably expect, these are welcomed changes from the constant go of the other songs. "*#..
" is dark and melancholic to start out, and soon emerges into some odd-timed riff and pounding drums. The title track, "Calculating Infinity
" is more an instrumental than an interlude. It starts out light and breezy, in some odd time signature I couldn't figure out if you paid me. Then the guys crank up the distortion and hammer away like there's no tomorrow. If you need an excuse to hear Pennie tear up his meager four-piece set, then "Weekend Sex Change
" is for you. It's basically a drum solo, with a break and some evil sounding synth work in the middle. Then it gets even more chaotic towards the end, after some sampled and looped voices.
When it's over, you'll gasp for air and wonder what the hell just happened. If you can stand the grating vocals and shrieking riffs, that is. This album is not
for everyone, but those who "get" it, will love it like the father they never had (or didn't love in the first place). A mish-mash of insanity on all instrumental fronts, with a vocal assault that would make your grandmother break a hip, Calculating Infinity
is a landmark grindcore album that others would be best suited in following. If you're into calmer music, however, then maybe you should stop speeding on the highway. After all, 70 is the speed limit
, not the requirement