Review: The Dillinger Escape Plan’s “Option Paralysis”

Posted: March 15, 2010 by Is This Revolutionary? in Reviews
Tags: , , , ,

It has taken me quite some time to digest the newest offering from the mighty Dillinger Escape Plan, entitled Option Paralysis. Now, after about twenty-five concentrated listening sessions, I feel it’s safe to say that this is the unstoppable “mathcore” machine at its finest. The heavy parts are incredibly violent, with clear influence from early thrash metal and grindcore, while the softer parts draw cues from classical, pop, and a nice helping of jazz. But it is not the diverse musical palette that makes this record so good… it is how convincingly the band executes each and every note. Dillinger’s new drummer, Billy Rymer, delivers one hell of a performance on Option Paralysis; in fact, it might be some of the most aggressive and tasteful drumming I’ve ever heard. Ben Weinman, the only original member and main songwriter, has ventured even farther into new territory while making sure the signature Dillinger sound remains intact.

The new record is way more cohesive than 2007’s Ire Works and takes the technical and accessible moments on that album to new heights. “I Wouldn’t If You Didn’t” is a prime example of this, as vocalist Greg Puciato exercises his melodic singing voice in one section and a high-pitched visceral scream to emphasize that “suffering is love”. Puciato truly shines on Option Paralysis and I sincerely hope that older fans finally realize that he is more fitting for the band than Dimitri Minakakis. Another thing I love about this disc is how layered and textured it is; Ire Works brought electronic elements to the forefront while Option Paralysis keeps them lower in the mix, complementing the instrumentation much more effectively.

Although it is almost impossible to choose, I’d have to say that the track, “Widower”, is my favorite. Guest pianist Mike Garson (of David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails fame) sets the stage with an absolutely gorgeous arrangement while Puciato uses a near-whisper to induce a relaxing, yet frightening vibe. The song progresses and climaxes to a jolting, frenetic burst of Dillinger chaos. It may be a fairly straight-forward song for the band but it is just so fucking good. On the other hand, tracks like “Endless Endings” and “Crystal Morning” are absolutely mindfucks… seriously, I don’t even know what to say. If they play those songs live, the universe will probably implode. Needless to say, Calculating Infinity purists will find something to like about this record.

Option Paralysis is the reason why The Dillinger Escape Plan embody creative music. I may be biased but that’s only because time after time, I am reminded why this band means so much to me, how they value forward-thinking composition over recycled, uninspired garbage. The title of the record is a reference to our overstimulated culture and how technology has made us numb as a society to relevant art, music etc… There is so much music being fed down our throats on a daily basis, but I implore you to treat this album as one you’d stumble upon in a record store years ago, worthy of an uninterrupted listening experience. This art is important. Buy it.


  1. Bino says:

    Nice review dude. Still haven’t had a chance to give this a spin yet but am very much looking forward to it.

  2. boni says:

    dude, simply… FUCK YOU. your review is fucking awesome and it expresses every single important idea and aspect of this new DEP album, it highlights how DEP embody creative and MEANINGFUL art. seriously, this is one of the best reviews of this album.

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