Dillinger Escape Plan's Fourth Album Is a Confounding and Powerful Piece of Work

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The Dillinger Escape Plan

Option Paralysis (Season of Mist)

Every album the Dillinger Escape Plan has released since its 1999 debut, Calculating Infinity, has divided fans. That won’t stop with Option Paralysis, the band’s fourth full-length, which just shows how complicated and confounding DEP has become. Longtime listeners keep hoping for a return to the debut’s hardcore aggression, and some fans want more of the weirdo experimentation and melody that marked Miss Machine and Ire Works. Both groups get a little of what they want here, but it might not be enough of either to satisfy anybody—which is a shame, because the new album’s a mighty piece of work. What used to be two sides of the band have solidified into a powerful whole.

There’s plenty of muscular riffing and jagged time changes, but there’s also a lot of melody—singer Greg Puciato’s fix on former Faith No More frontman Mike Patton has reached new heights—and a piano ballad (“Widower”). But nothing’s exclusive—”Gold Teeth on a Bum” swings and grinds in equal measure, and the quiet interludes work as parts of songs rather than as some kind of demonstration that the band can slow down if it wants to.

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