The Dillinger Escape Plan
Dissociation


4.5
superb

Review

by MercuryToHell CONTRIBUTOR (40 Reviews)
October 14th, 2016 | 1370 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Pure, bleak, beautiful, and then nothing.

So begins the demise of The Dillinger Escape Plan. Two decades of insanity, acclaim, and stylistic changes coming to a glorious end, one can’t help but fall into the cliché that they truly are going out on top and on their own terms. Said stylistic experimentation means that approaching a new record is something of a tightrope in terms of expectations. After all, there is still a subsection of their audience clearly bitter that they haven’t released direct copies of Under The Running Board sporadically over the last 18 years, but I digress. Stepping into Dissociation, the only certainty is that the following 51 minutes will not adhere to any expected formula or structure. That being said, one thing you can always expect from a new TDEP album is that the first track will be a firm smash to the jugular, and on this, the final entry to their discography, they certainly do not disappoint. ‘Limerent Death’ ramps up the snotty punk aesthetic, and while it lacks the immediate spazzy headf***ery of openers such as ‘Panasonic Youth’ or ‘Farewell, Mona Lisa’, this track sets a fantastic foundation for the rest of the record to build upon, and the outro sets something of a precedent…

The majority of Dissociation is not just heavy, but matter-of-factly unhinged. The Dillinger Escape Plan have always built a stellar reputation on being surgically precise in their performances and recordings, and while this has not in any way been compromised, there is a clear sense of danger and unknown feelings finding their way on board. Greg Puciato and Ben Weimann have both spoken of their experiences and anxiety being driving forces going into the production of the album, but not even the most devoted of followers could have expected an end result like this. Tracks such as ‘Surrogate’, ‘Honeysuckle’ and ‘Apologies Not Included’ don’t break any ground in the framework of the tracks, and structurally they could have blended into the tracklist of any of the band’s last 3 records, but there are extra elements on show here. For a start, Puciato’s vocals are drenched in vulnerability and uncertainty for the most part (which I concede, can be a little bit offputting if you’re not a fan of his vocal style, as it has a tendency to wobble and sound a little more nasal than usual), but when he bursts forth with his trademark venom, everything sounds amplified to 11, powerful and triumphant but with an almost demonic flourish, as if he is losing control of his own strength. Unfortunately for the fans amongst us, this is his final form.

After their covers of Aphex Twin’s ‘Come To Daddy’ (on the Irony Is A Dead Scene EP) and Massive Attack’s ‘Angel’ (from the Plagiarism EP) – a track like ‘Fugue’ is not wholly unexpected, but what is extremely jarring is just how precisely and competently it comes together – very light on natural instrumentation, this is a massively successful jaunt into Squarepusher circa 1997 territory, as unsettling grooves and cold, clinical synths stutter and bounce over a schizophrenic mix of live drums and programmed beats. This isn’t the first time they have toyed with this style by any stretch, but it is absolutely the most fleshed-out and satisfying that their efforts have ever sounded. We are also treated to these elements during sections of ‘Manufacturing Discontent’ and the closing title track, but more on the latter later.

TDEP albums rarely pass by without a little foray into jazz, ever since the then-out-of-place experimentalism of ‘Sugar Coated Sour’, but in keeping with the rest of the album, the mid-section of ‘Low Feels Blvd’ is their most accomplished attempt, almost sounding like a foray into 1970s fusion, but still managing to comfortably allow itself to be bookmarked by pounding mathcore. It’s almost unfeasible to me as a listener how these ideas can sit so comfortably amongst each other without sounding like an intentional reach or show-off, but this just lies in their enigmatic appeal.

It is also worth noting at this point that Dissociation lacks anything that screams out ‘radio friendly unit shifter’. Now, of course, this is far from important to the band themselves, I’m sure, and most fans of this genre don’t rely on the radio for new music. However, while there is no ‘Black Bubblegum’, no ‘Nothing’s Funny’, and no ‘Unretrofied’ on display here, this record is strangely accessible. TDEP have shown themselves to be no stranger to pop music (surely influenced by Puciato in particular) but what they have created here is a mash-up of really every different style in their arsenal, made no attempts to put any studio sheen on the chaos, and somehow given us a product that welcomes in the listener, from the slow build-up of ‘Limerent Death’, twisting through the insanity of the bulk of the record, and leading us to the closer. ‘Dissociation’ as a swan-song is perfection. This is a funereal march, drenched in sadness and beauty. Think the ethereal ambience of The Black Queen, but drive up the polyrhythms in the background, add the context of everything that has brought the band to this point as the track builds, and at the 3.47 mark, the stripped back, cold despair that shines through is an outstanding representation of the end. Pure, bleak, beautiful, and then nothing.

Farewell guys. May your discography - complete with this truly outstanding final act – be testament that you are and were the most important act in extreme music.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
October 14th 2016


1256 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

There are a few elements of fanboy in this one, and I'm sorry.

But what a way to go out.

DirEnRefused
October 14th 2016


3392 Comments


rushed review, from the first listen of this all you did was think about how you'd phrase what you're hearing in your write-up. content is a fine summation, albeit with some noticeably clunky sentences

DarkSideOfLucca
October 14th 2016


9259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Fucking awesome review. This is tied with Miss Machine for me. Album is amazing, can't wait to see them in November.

DarkSideOfLucca
October 14th 2016


9259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I dug it.. Anyways, is Sputnik being nearly unusably slow for anyone else? It took me forever just to be able to get here, nevermind submit two comments.

MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
October 14th 2016


1256 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I actually listened to this album more than I usually do before submitting anything, so if it's poorly written I guess there's more practising to do, but I think it was a bit much to assume I rushed it or what I was thinking while listening.

Hanusko
October 14th 2016


82 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

In my opinion, this is fantastic review, and overall this is magnificent album, middle section of ,,Low Feels Blvd'' is unearthly good.

Digging: Falls of Rauros - Vigilance Perennial

Ebola
October 14th 2016


2872 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I adore this band and everything they stand for.

jesterhead92
October 14th 2016


3503 Comments


Buying this after work, really can't wait.

DarkSideOfLucca
October 14th 2016


9259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Wait, so this site is usable for other people? 'Cause holy fuck, this is slow.



And I preordered this because I'm a genius. Unfortunately, I also preordered this and the new Meshuggah vinyl to my old address so I won't have either until Thursday because I'm not a genius,

zaruyache
October 14th 2016


18093 Comments


it's barely been working for me today but as of this moment it seems to want to load.

StarlessCore
October 14th 2016


5632 Comments


idk about how i feel so far....but low feels blvd is one of the best songs dillinger has EVER written. wow.

Digging: Potence - L'Amour Au Temps De La Peste

BigPleb
October 14th 2016


51635 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So much to absorb on first listen, their most experimental work ever probably and that's kinda fitting considering this is their swan song.



Fugue, Low Feels Blvd, Honeysuckle, Nothing to Forget and the t/t are standouts on first glance.



Like seriously, was holding back the tears on the closer.

DarkSideOfLucca
October 14th 2016


9259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh thank God it just started working.



And good, just making sure I'm not the only one. I need my Sputnik at work.

ILJ
October 14th 2016


6941 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm only on my first listen but I thought Fugue was some pretty bad filler. Just a first impression though

BigPleb
October 14th 2016


51635 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah this is clicking hard on second play through, literally the first play through I was so shocked to hear how well they've culminated each album they've done into this record whilst adding a new flavour.

DarkSideOfLucca
October 14th 2016


9259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think Fugue is awesome, man.



Agreed hard Pleb, this clicked for me hard on the first listen. I was just constantly shocked at how great each song was, dejavu from Meshuggah.

DarkSideOfLucca
October 14th 2016


9259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I want to 5 this but I just 5d an album last week, I don't want to be TOO generous.

BigPleb
October 14th 2016


51635 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah this is really really consistent, far more daring than Killer but I've got a feeling this will turn casual fans away.

Ebola
October 14th 2016


2872 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think Fugue is one of the highlights tbh. Really cool track, flows surprisingly well

StarlessCore
October 14th 2016


5632 Comments


symptoms of illness is bad

they should replace that in the setlist with low feels

seeing them tonight and tomorrow : )



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