Review Summary: Legendary mathcore band The Dillinger Escape Plan goes out with a bang, leaving the rest of us to whimper.
Only one year shy of their 20 year anniversary, DEP decides to end their long run of mind-imploding music and unpredictable live shows before time catches up with them. A band as extreme as DEP could never go on forever, hell, we’re lucky we got 20 years out of them! Undoubtedly one live show you must see to believe, Dillinger have stirred all sort of chaos through countless venues and festivals. “Jumping off anything climbable”, “destroying anything destructible” or “never stop a show no matter how much blood is shed” are all fitting motto’s for the band’s live persona.
“Dissociation” finds the band waving goodbye, or rather, shoving your sorry ass off stage one last time, since the former couldn’t possibly confer the ass-kicking this album delivers. Which is to be expected at this point. When asked in a recent interview how it is going to feel to play the last chord at their last show, last remaining original member Ben Weinman replied, “Well, I'll probably have another injury that I'll have to figure out how to take care of somehow.” That line applies directly to their final album, how DEP never goes out without swinging, so how we could anyone be surprised their final album finds them just as innovative and heavy as they’ve ever been.
“Limerent Death” kicks off the album, denying any suggestion that the band will slowing down for their swansong. Puciato’s harsh screams are comparable to none in the metal world, and on the only song that they are not found in, “Symptom of Terminal Illness,” his clean vocals (or lack of his shattering scream) don’t leave chink on the final product, rather, it becomes one of its many high points. “Fugue,” strangely enough, is an unexpected twist on IDM, but yet still just as aggressive as the rest of the record. Jazz makes an appearance a few times throughout, most notably on “Surrogate,” an epic clash of DEP’s polar extremes, and “Honeysuckle,” a mix of jazz and progressive metal riffs that build up to the biggest breakdown of the album. “Nothing to Forget” begins drawing the record to a close, slowing things down slightly with a track dominated by vocals reminiscent of Mike Patton with plenty of symphonic moments to bring in the inevitable finale title-track (No, it cannot be!). Ending on a soft note, title-track “Dissociation” uses minimal use of instruments and some electronic elements to augment Puciato’s powerful vocals, concluding with the lines, “Couldn’t stay for you/What a strange way to lose/ Finding a way to die alone/ It was better than what I was shown.”