The Dillinger Escape Plan’s final release sees the band settling into a comfortable sound for the first time in their career, even if that sound might not be comfortable for anyone actually listening to the album.
It is worth remembering that the band have decided to break up due to what seemingly appears to have been caused by their own running out of ideas, and that this announcement came after the completion of this album. If there has been a greater red flag in music journalism this year, I am unaware of it.
The album never reaches the insanity of previous efforts like Calculating Infinity or Miss Machine, but instead attempts to take what was achieved on their more streamlined efforts such as Ire Works, exploring it in a more progressive context. In fact, the sheer amount of syncopation and polyrhythms on this album will undoubtedly push many listeners away, and rightfully so too; what we are presented with here is about an hour’s worth of metalcore-tinged Meshuggah rip-offs, and even that description might be putting it too nicely.
Really, it’s not so much a problem of the band using the same techniques over and over again (which they do), it’s more of a problem that these techniques have not only been done to death by the band’s peers over the last ten years or so, but they have been done far better too.
While the record does admittedly have its moments, they are few and far between, and as such, it will be remembered only for what it truly is; not a swansong to the band’s career, but rather the final nail in the coffin for an era of low-E string chugging and awkwardly-executed jazz rhythms which had dominated The Dillinger Escape Plan’s music for their entire existence.