Review Summary: Where it all began.
If you’re a metalcore fan and you haven’t listened to Calculating Infinity
, you’re doing something wrong. Along with Converge’s Jane Doe
, Calculating Infinity
is widely regarded as a milestone in technical metalcore (or ‘mathcore’), combining ridiculous atonal guitar melodies and fierce drumming by Chris Pennie, topped with some of the most emotionally fuelled screams the genre has to offer – simply put, it was a masterpiece. The Dillinger Escape Plan wasn’t always so brilliant though. Their first official release, 1997’s The Dillinger Escape Plan
EP, was a rocky start for the now legendary metalcore act, but as a standalone listen you can’t help but appreciate how far they’ve come and how much potential was present from the very beginning.
The EP begins with an instrumental intro that’s borderline soothing for TDEP’s standards, which then leads into the first real track on the album ‘I Love Secret Agents’. It’s not as technically mind-blowing as anything off Calculating
nor does it have their signature stop-start spastic riffing style, but the atonality is there along with their signature rawness they would come to fully realize in later releases. TDEP
is also the most blatantly punk influenced thing they’ve put out. ‘Three for Flinching (Revenge of the Porno Clowns)’ begins with a standard punk beat before progressing into one of the most powerful outros of the EP with Dimitri screaming, ”You laugh, stop laughing!”
repeatedly under his main vocal track, closing the 15-minute EP with a swift kick in the nuts.
Even though it hardly compares to their later works, TDEP’s first release is a clusterfuck of face melting guitar work and sheer punk influenced madness. Upon listening to this EP, you’ll quickly come to realize how TDEP became as big in the metalcore scene as they are today.