17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another decade, another brilliant DEP album
With "Option Paralysis," The Dillinger Escape Plan, one of extreme metal's most unpredictable groups, release a somewhat predictable album. Though it contains refinements and slight variations on their sound, there isn't much here that one couldn't imagine on a previous release. As a raving fanboy for the last 8 or so years, I would hardly want DEP to radically alter...
Published on March 23, 2010 by General Zombie
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Ok album by an Amazing band.
I just want to clarify that I'm a big Dillinger Escape Plan fan. I have listened to "Option Paralysis" more than 10 times and with every listen I'm digging but at the end not knowing where I stand. I love quite a few tracks but I feel the intense tracks are lacking anything memorable or just heavy for the sake of being heavy. Dillinger used to write heavy as s%#*...
Published on April 25, 2010 by J
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another decade, another brilliant DEP album,
With "Option Paralysis," The Dillinger Escape Plan, one of extreme metal's most unpredictable groups, release a somewhat predictable album. Though it contains refinements and slight variations on their sound, there isn't much here that one couldn't imagine on a previous release. As a raving fanboy for the last 8 or so years, I would hardly want DEP to radically alter their sound, mind you, but there's little use denying that they are currently filling in and adding color to their niche, rather than truly expanding it. Fortunately, other aspects that remain from prior releases are the impeccable musicianship and an unsurpassed songwriting sense for a technical band. DEP have here, more than on "Miss Machine" or "Ire Works," achieved a balance between the kinetic, rhythmically baffling avant-garde jazz-metal of "Calculating Infinity" with their more melodic and industrial/electronic influenced side. All this makes "Option Paralysis" a first-rate summation of DEPs career thus far, and while I'm not yet prepared to ascertain its relative position within the DEP canon, I am ready to declare it another blistering, 5 star masterpiece. (That's 4 in a row, for those keeping score . . .)
DEP's oft-changing lineup has been mixed up again with the addition of Billy Rymer on drums. Neither Pennie or Sharone seem easy to replace, but a collaborative as talented as DEP surely has the pick of the crop when it comes to new members, and Rymer is more than up for the task. As I have heard others suggest, Rymer seems to be more of a pure rock drummer than his more jazz-inflected predecessors, but he can still manage the absurd time signatures and changes with dexterity while adding perhaps even more brute force. The rest of the group remains the same, with bandleader Weinman apparently filling in all of the guitar duties and the underappreciated Wilson getting a bit more room in the mix this time to show off his considerable talents. (This has the best production since their debut, imo.) Most notable, however, is Puciato's continued improvement. While I've always thought he was often unjustly and sometimes idiotically criticized (he's too muscular!), he's undoubtedly developed better control and range than previously, and blends into the cacophony with ease.
At ten tracks and over 41 minutes, "Option Paralysis" is DEPs longest and most balanced record. While "Ire Works" was perhaps slightly short on the pure tech-metalcore mayhem, here DEP set the record straight with a longer batch of "Calculating Infinity" style crushers. "Endless Endings" replicates the sound of that classic most perfectly, with some of their most elaborate riffs and unbelievable drum thunder giving way to some smoother but still incredibly frenetic atmospheric jazz material, while "Room Full of Eyes" has among the noisiest, most uncontrolled guitarwork in their catalog. They do mix things up a bit more on this material than in the past, with some relatively simple, bludgeoning break in "Good Neighbor" and the smooth, jazzy piano that accompanies the middle of "I Wouldn't If You Didn't." This pure mathcore material is all ferocious and expertly executed, and if it isn't quite as devastating as the best work on "Calculating Infinity" well, neither is anything else.
"Widower" invariably gets the most attention of the more melodic material. Most notable for a discordant yet gorgeous piano solo from Mike Garson, Puciato also shines on this one, though I think he's even better on the relatively conventional "Gold Teeth on a Bum," which has perhaps my favorite vocal melodies of any DEP track. Most impressive of the more varied tracks, however, is the first single "Farewell, Mona Lisa." This is one of DEP's most fully realized tracks, moving from pure speed to more atmospheric material before the bludgeoning close. It could be trimmed slightly, but it displays a surprising ability to force their madness into a more coherent form. We also have "Chinese Whispers," one of their more conventional tracks that largely replicates a typical post-hardcore sound, albeit with a little odd time trickery thrown in. Not their best track, but is works and shows a slightly different side to the band. Finally, the album closes with "Parasitic Twins." DEP have done electronic and industrially flavored tracks in the past, but none have been as purely atmospheric and melodic as this. It's actually a relative weak point, but it stands out stylistically and thus makes an intriguing coda.
Needless to say, "Option Paralysis" won't likely convert anyone who disliked the band before. But if you need more of the fix on The Dillinger Escape Plan can give you, well, here's another dose. Check it out.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars grow with this artist!,
i've never reviewed a DEP album before, yet i now own all of them. i'm in the boat of people that checked these guys out b/c of the EP with Mike Patton (lucky enough to have caught them open for Mr. Bungle in 1999). if you want a CHALLENGING artist, this is where you go. i like that it took me awhile to "get it". much like the MELVINS, it didn't click with me right away. it's not as if it's an acquired taste, because it is definitely not forced. it's like enrolling in a math class. at first, it's foreign. as you either pass or fail, you choose the path. is this something worth trying to understand? with this band - yes. ok, i'm rambling, here's the review:
are you already a fan? did you like 'IRE WORKS'? then you'll enjoy this album. you accepted change. is it the next logical step for the band. no. if you're looking for 'IRE WORKS' 2, this ain't it. at first, i guess i wanted a sequel to one of my favorite albums of all time, but with each listen, i'm glad it isn't. all of their previous albums live and breathe on their own. you fundamentally enjoy it or you don't.
#1) the mix and mastering are definitely top notch. previous albums, i kinda wanted a little more of this or that, but this one delivers. previous efforts did not lack, but, this is the kind of band that only live can you experience the aural onslaught properly. this release comes REALLY close to the live setting. it hits. hard.
#2) the rhythm section is tighter than ever and in your face more than previous albums (this goes along with #1). so good to hear Liam Wilson's talent as a bass player break through the skin. it's easy to be a fan of this band's previous drummers, but to be able to play all of that AND be able to write up to snuff with the current vibe deserves much respect. Billy Rymer? he owns.
#3) whereas 'IRE WORKS' was more song by song with experimental interludes - this one just chugs song right after song, some let you take a breath, others don't. hard to explain, but being a huge fan of their previous album, i found it hard to let go of the previous concepts. in short, i listen to this album as it's own entity and enjoy what i hear. fearing 'IRE WORKS' was untoppable, it was at first difficult to "feel" it. of course, before the first listen was over, it clicked. i grew with the artist. it's like a familiarity with something and bonding with it's roots. welcoming changes, because they are still an interesting listen. there are bands that i'll buy no matter what they release, HELMET, for instance. i may prefer this or that, but i still pull from it what i want from it. the evolution is a thrill in itself. the versatility and the added piano pieces are what i feel to be the band becoming a bigger island. stretching their boundaries and touching more of the unknown. on this disc, when you think it's gonna hit, it may not, and that's what makes it more interesting. as a previous reviewer stated, if you didn't enjoy 'mouth of ghosts' that may summarize your mixed feelings on this release. 'mouth of ghosts' live changed me and my life for the better. amazing.
#4) Greg Puciato - this vocalist continually surprises me. he could tackle any genre. it's like watching someone come into their own, literally watching someone join and then become. 'MISS MACHINE' is really, really good. but i wanted a litle more versatility because i knew he had the chops. you can almost hear him as a hire on, but barely. you only notice at all because each album he's closer to the music. the albums he has been on, he continually puts his own stamp on their sound and has become more than just the "singer". his voice lends another inspired instrument to this group, a puzzle piece that he cut himself. not forced in, but rather, firmly placed.
#5) Weinman!!! to be in this guy's musical head! not sure he gets the credit he should. he writes some serious thinking man's metal. songs that by the time you're gettin' it, it's off to the next turn. un-ignorable. so important. unpredictable. genius. so glad he keeps this all going. can't imagine the challenges of line-up changes. this kind of band, i'd love to hear track by track, the songwriting process, out-takes, etc. this is real life music. constructed out of flesh, the brain, the hands to sound like a machine that gets broken by the same hands. it's up to the listener if it ever sounds fixed.
#6) Tuttle is doin' it! adding some killer back-up vox on this disc, he holds it down with the rhythm section. he adds the growl to the pound. live, an integral part of this band's performance. sheer power!
if you're a fan, you'll love this album. if you have a favorite album from them and you're awaiting the sequel, open your mind. or just hold on tight to that fave album. this new disc has a warmth and a soul that the others didn't strive for. if it had been their intention, the past albums would've been released as such. this is where they are now, current line-up. all giving 200% for the sake of each song. delivering their part as much or as little in content but contextually thru the roof. this band acknowledges its fan-base and appreciates us. that alone would make me a fan, but damn! their music...! energy! passion! that's just a portion of my devotion to this fine band.
is this a review? is it a song by song opinionated run-down? no. this is an easy choice. you either like them or you don't. new listeners, prepare to throw out your ideals and conceptions of what music could be. a review is pointless to most because fans already have this album! are you new to this band? hear 'farewell mona lisa'? if you dug it, you just scratched the surface of the universe that the DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN built, destroyed, and built up again. i'll continue to live there, happily. any and all of the albums have a common thread: unescapable sound. this album is essential.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Carefully calculated chaos,
It felt, at least to me, like a ridiculously long wait between Dillinger's last album and this one. It certainly has paid off. This album is brutal, but it also adds to what they achieved on the last album. There is more piano, and overall there is more variety than I'm sure some fans will want. I would easily recommend this album to anyone who enjoyed "Ire Works." The songs that I feel deserve special mention include "Farewell, Mona Lisa," "Widower," and "Parasitic Twins." The final song (the aforementioned "Parasitic Twins") is not unlike the final song on "Ire Works," so if you hated "Mouth of Ghosts" You're probably not going to feel too kindly toward this one. This album is relentlessly brutal while adding to the sound that Dillinger have been going for lately, and is in my opinion, a great success.
The packaging also deserves a mention simply because it is unlike anything I have ever seen. I don't necessarily want to spoil the surprise, but it sure is something.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crushing album, annoying digipak,
Musically it's great, Puciato's vocals are throatier than he's ever been, the heavier tracks are faster and catchier than any of the 2 previous albums and the production is crystal clear and punchy (which I felt Ire Works lacked). It's no Calculating, but it seems like a more natural successor than MM did. The poppy stuff is still in there too, but there's less of it and it's not as overbearing. If you've ever been a DEP fan this is a must have.
That being said, I still haven't figured out the correct order to close the panels on the digipak, so if anyones figured it out please post up instructions!!!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whether you're a brand new fan or have been there since the beginning, this album is for you!,
This review is from: Option Paralysis (Bonus Version) (MP3 Music)
The Egyptians built the pyramids, Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel and The Dillinger Escape Plan wrote Option Paralysis. Some may say this type of company is too impressive for The Dillinger Escape Plan; however, one listen to Option Paralysis would change the mind of any skeptic. It's a shame this album wasn't released in 2012 because I would be sure that this was the Omega that the Mayan calendar was predicting. Throughout Dillinger Escape Plan's history is a constant change and shifting of styles. Since their origination back in 1997 they have released four full-length albums, each one being a little different then the next. Calculating Infinity was the first glimpse at what this chaotic band could do, while Miss Machine showed the world that Dillinger could write with an impressive song structure in mind...and not just simply shred all the time. Then came along Ire Works which introduced the world to the more psychedelic Dillinger, the Dillinger that enjoyed harmonies and strange noise interludes. Somewhere in between the time that Ire Works was released and the band wrote Option Paralysis, Dillinger must have gotten smacked in the head with something heavy because the work on their new album is pure genius. The band incorporates the strongest elements of their previous work and builds upon their prior success.
From the moment you press play and you hear those four singular guitar chords, you know something is different. "Farewell, Mona Lisa" starts the band off at a level of intensity they never achieved on Ire Works. The album opener, and also the chosen single, knocks your head backwards with the impressive guitar work and break neck speed of the drums. Then, as fast as the music starts, it comes to a grinding halt and you are transported to a spacey dark atmosphere, during which time Greg Puciato opens up his vocal chords and introduces the world to this brand new voice that he discovered. The band shifts from chaotic to melodic and shows everyone that they can be just as beautiful as they are ugly. Then when you think you are safe the band kicks it back up to eleven and brings the album opener to a soaring close!
What makes this album fantastic is that The Dillinger Escape Plan then does this another nine times. Every song on this album is dynamic, switching back and forth from rhythmic sections full of harmony to pieces of time where you might think the drummer, Billy Rymer, is having a seizure. I don't think I have to go into the level of technicality that the members of The Dillinger Escape Plan posses It's common knowledge that Ben Weinman and Liam Wilson, the band's axe men, are talented individuals. What does need to be noted is the ambitious steps they took during Option Paralysis. For example, the song "Widower" features the virtuoso pianist Mike Garson who has worked with David Bowie, Smashing Pumpkins and Nine Inch Nails. During this song Mike Garson and Greg Puciato have a beautiful solo that would bring any grown man to his knees.
Honestly, this is Dillinger's best work to date. They really have hit their stride with Option Paralysis and I wouldn't be surprised if this album is on numerous top 10 lists by the end of 2010. Whether you're a brand new fan or have been there since the beginning, this album is for you! On a side note, I would also like to say that the last time I saw these guys live, Greg set a huge stick on fire and was shooting mouthfuls of fiery gasoline into the crowd while hanging from the ceiling! So at the end of the day The Dillinger Escape Plan is one hell of a band!
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Ok album by an Amazing band.,
I just want to clarify that I'm a big Dillinger Escape Plan fan. I have listened to "Option Paralysis" more than 10 times and with every listen I'm digging but at the end not knowing where I stand. I love quite a few tracks but I feel the intense tracks are lacking anything memorable or just heavy for the sake of being heavy. Dillinger used to write heavy as s%#* material and still make you crave for more. This album and their last album (Ire Works) have intense tracks thrown in the mix but they all seem to be their least thought out ones. I love their track "Farewell, Mona Lisa" where they discovered how to blend their melodic bursts with their rapid-fire playing style. "Widower" and "Parasitic Twins" are both amazing for how soothing and how climatic they can build up tension without losing momentum. "Gold Teeth On A Bum" is a great number with some nice guitar licks and some awesome riffing. Then there's a lot of other tracks that just get lost in the shuffle with no real direction other than just blast and repeat.
I have noticed with this album and their last one that I am enjoying their more melodic moments than their flat out kill the song with bang, bang, and bang moments. To me their lighter moments are more sincere and heartfelt than their intense ones. They don't have the same intensity for one as they used to so it's just annoying noise compared to their older amazing rapid fire blast-beats. When I throw on older tracks from "Calculating Infinity" and "Under the Running Board" they still throw my ears in a loop but in a holy F*#@ kind of way, and with the new material not so much. I could blame it on the fact that they have a different drummer but I don't think it has anything to do with that. The drummer on this album, Billy Rymer, is just as skilled as the last one, Gil Sharone, it's just in the end I'm listening to these tracks and nothing is encouraging me to get wrapped up in them.
Overall I like this album but wish they could forget about their past and make an album they hint at but never fully embrace. I feel they play their heavy moments now just because that's what we the listeners have come to expect. To me they have so much more potential for great awe-inspiring epics that are encompassed in more grounded Rock and Roll. They have some moments in songs where they display some great rock moments but then knock it out and move on. I never saw myself saying what I just said in those last sentences but it's the truth. They lost their "oh my god" moments and haven't noticed that or being too stubborn not to fully change. In the end this is a Dillinger Escape Plan album so maybe I'm not one to expect soothing passages and great rock melodies but the weird thing is they display them making me anticipate more of them so maybe I do have the right to expect this change.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars so unbelievable,
When Mariyln Manson's newest album came out I thought it was amazing because of the new direction he took and how much he opened himself up in his lyrics. I thought Nine Inch Nails' Year Zero was awesome because of the intricacy and new topics he explored. And both of those together can't come close to how blown away I was by this record.
I wish there was a way to give more stars. I love Ire Works, Miss Machine, and Calculating Infinity. But this is by far my favorite. Everything is so perfect. The intensity mixed with the lyrics make for a perfect combination. Don't get me wrong, Miss Machine was a perfect 10 but this in itself is a masterpiece. Parasitic Twins and Chinese Whispers are two of the best songs I have ever heard by them right along with Sunshine the Werewolf and 43% Burnt.
If you're not a narrow minded person that wants to hear the exact same bland music released every album ala The Clarks or Better Than Ezra, BUY THIS ALBUM NOW! You will not regret it. It moves in all directions but blends so beautifully.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome,
Love the new record. Puciato's vocals are of few favorites of all time. Definitely my favorite cd from them to date, almost as heavy as calculating infinity but still more melodic than anything to be created but this outstanding group that without a doubt will never let me down. Cd casing is a lil weird but this album is absolutely awesome!
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!,
Amazing Dillinger record; possibly my favorite to date. I had read somewhere that they were trying to be more prolific in their song writing, and that's the perfect way to describe this album. All killer, no filler.
4.0 out of 5 stars Transitional album, strong in its own right,
With IRE WORKS, DEP expanded the basic approach established on MISS MACHINE, incorporating more diverse sounds and producing a brilliant, experimental sounding album.
OPTION PARALYSIS sounds at first like a retrenchment. On further listening it becomes clear that the various disparate elements are still there to a degree, but they are in the process of being more thoroughly blended than they were on IRE WORKS. This process continues, and more successfully, on ONE OF US IS THE KILLER (2013).
This is a strong album, just not as good as the ones that came before and after. At its best, it evokes a powerful sense of alienation, accompanied of course with the aggro intensity that aims to break free!
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