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The Dillinger Escape Plan – “Farewell, Mona Lisa”

There’s no feeling in this place…

Whenever I think of the best metalcore acts of the decade – ha, nevermind – I never think about metalcore.  That almost – almost – led me to overlook what should be an obvious inclusion on anyone’s decade list.  The Dillinger Escape Plan are masters of art when it comes to their ingenious blend of mathcore and extreme metal; this very methodical, calculated madness.  They’ve proven over the span of their entire career to be one of the most important and consistently excellent bands of their subgenre, and to be frank, any number of cuts could have been chosen to represent them on this playlist.  For me, it’s “Farewell, Mona Lisa”, the jaw-dropping opener that kicked the doors down on 2010’s sensational Option Paralysis.

“Farewell, Mona Lisa” captures the despondence of modern times.  It’s a struggle to break free from the mundane paths that life blandly bestows upon us and access a true, original purpose: “Our role is clear, never stray far from the path.”  With the chaotic and complex riffing that swirls about the song’s backdrop, it plunges the listener’s senses into the sheer madness of trying to garner hope from the future during the 2010’s – a time where student loans essentially outweigh their benefits, young people are still living at home into their late twenties or beyond, wielding expensive book-smarts that may not even be applicable to real life, all while contending with unrealistic expectations as well as the intrinsic pressure of knowing that time is passing by.  There’s just this overwhelming sense of rage – each mathy riff representing a controlled mental implosion – until it sinks gently into the apathy of clean vocals: ” Don’t you ever try to be more than you were destined for, or anything worth fighting for.”  It’s basically a metaphor for the death of idealism; how life crushes our expectations right out of high school/college and forces us to conform to the bleakness of a world that has given up on itself.  It’s devastating, but it’s beyond the scope of any individual to take up and fix himself/herself.  Finally, the lead singer resigns, “there’s no feeling in this place.”

Instrumentally, “Farewell, Mona Lisa” is an absolutely electric experience.  The drumming rips away at the boundaries of sanity, feeling like some kind of manic breakdown.  The electric guitar riffs are just as frenetic, always on the brink of spiraling out of control due to sheer speed and complexity.  The momentum shifts from lead-footed intensity to waxing depressed poetic to shrill, rage-filled screams is dizzying in all the best ways.  There’s so, so few bands that could pull off a song this bold, thrilling, and emphatically convinced of itself.  It’s a marvel, and one of mathcore’s decade benchmarks that is deserving of our undying adoration.

Read more from this decade at my homepage for Sowing’s Songs of the Decade.





SowingSeason
01.15.19
Lots of 2010 stuff so far but I promise I'll branch out as this series continues.

JohnnyoftheWell
01.15.19
Oh yessssss

Atari
01.15.19
another one of those hyped sputnik bands I have not heard

SowingSeason
01.15.19
Atari you'd dig this if you enjoy metalcore/mathy stuff at all. I know you like some metal but I don't know if this would be your thing or not. Did you listen to the song from the post?

Atari
01.15.19
jamming currently. plan to listen to every track from this series. not bad so far, reminds me of Every Time I Die and The Chariot but I haven't listened to this style of music in a long time. clearly talented, but not my typical cup of tea

SowingSeason
01.15.19
cool, appreciate the subscription lol

yeah I didn't remember you ever raving about mathcore at any juncture in the past so I'm not too surprised this isn't up your ally, but then again this is totally not my style at all and I think it's amazing

GreyShadow
01.16.19
4 for 4 with tracks I love from this decade. you're killing it dude.

I'm not the biggest DEP follower but I managed to catch one of their last shows and the latter half of this song was definitely the best moment of the night.

ComeToDaddy
01.16.19
Yeah I caught them in their last Sydney show and it was a cracker, this song blew up (though every single one did). Would definitely rank near the top of performances I've seen, and stoked to see them place on here.

furpa
01.16.19
Dude YES unequivocally one of TDEP's best tracks! All of these picks from you have been gold thus far.

SowingSeason
01.16.19
Never seen them live so I can't attest but they seem like they'd put on a hell of a show. And thanks fellas, hopefully I don't let you down any time soon.

Rowan5215
01.16.19
widower >

Slex
01.16.19
Good lord this song is fucking unreal. I've obviously ignored this band for way too long

SowingSeason
01.16.19
Glad you're digging them Freddie. I don't listen to very much metal, but these guys have always been a staple of my musical diet.

dbizzles
01.16.19
Shit slaps.

ZombieToyDuck
01.16.19
hell yeah, forgot how killer this track was

SowingSeason
01.17.19
@Rowan Widower is amazing yah. Won't even try to fight one track over the other besides the fact that I personally prefer this by a hair.

Another group that could conceivably have more than one song on this list.

PistolPete
01.17.19
I can get behind this song. This was the song that got me into DEP in the first place. Very nostalgic.

Itwasthatwas
01.17.19
Good pick. TDEP would have an argument for being on a 90s and 00s album too. This track is from their last really impactful album though.

Itwasthatwas
01.17.19
*90s and 00s list, not album

EclipseInYourEyes
08.19.19
"another one of those hyped sputnik bands I have not heard"

tbf, TDEP are hyped everywhere. Maybe not in the comment section of revolver magazine or metal hammer facebook posts...but those people only accept "the old shit" and nothing else

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