The Dillinger Escape Plan: A Retrospective
After twenty years, what’s there left to say that hasn’t been said?
The shadow of the Dillinger Escape Plan looms long and dark over heavy music. You can’t outrun them; they’ve all but copyrighted the dissonant, off-time riff, blurring the once-solid lines between punk and metal and mixing the two freely, proving time and again that where there’s an envelope to push, the Dillinger Escape Plan won’t think twice about shearing right through it. If we were to graph it out, their progression from angry three-piece to their current spot as one of the most respected and influential heavy bands in the world follows an almost vertical trajectory. It’s awe-inspiring, but like all good things, doomed. There’s a drop for every climb, a down for every up, and understanding decay, the Dillinger Escape Plan have announced the end of the band with a farewell album called Dissociation due out this month, as well as a final tour cycle. Unexpected as it may have been when announced, we echo the sentiments of many others: it’s better this way. There’s no drop for the Dillinger Escape Plan, no down, and no decay. Rather than letting themselves and their music deteriorate over time, they’re leaving us where we want to see them: at the top of their game, forever.
Leading up to and following the release of Dissociation, we’ll be celebrating everything the Dillinger Escape Plan, past and present incarnations alike, have given us: five (soon to be six) studio albums, four EPs, two splits, a live album, a video album, seven singles, twelve music videos, and waves upon waves of bands that will carry on their legacy. Each of us here at Metal Lifestyle will be sharing our personal thoughts on the Dillinger Escape Plan’s discography; anecdotes from their legendary live sets (including Prisms reviews from each of us for the dates they’ll be passing through our necks of the woods!); and playlists of Dillinger and Dillinger-influenced jams for you to punk the fuck out to each week.
The only thing we can do now is add our voices to the chorus and sing their praises with everyone else, with only one thing worth saying left to say:
Thank you for everything.
-The Metal Lifestyle Team
Just after announcing their sixth full length record would drop in October, New Jersey mathcore legends The Dillinger Escape Plan announce that they will be separating after their touring period for the LP. Pretty much everyone in the extreme music world reacted to this news, sharing their grief and memories with the band. Seeing that they meant so much to the community, and also knowing that everyone at Metal Lifestyle, including myself, has a special place in their heart for The Dillinger Escape Plan’s music, I messaged everyone right away with ideas on how to honor their legacy. We all came to the conclusion of reviewing their discography. However, before we get to that, I feel it is best to start with my own thoughts on this situation.
Since I heard “Farewell, Mona Lisa” for the first time on Liquid Metal sometime six or seven years ago, I’ve been a fan of this band. I didn’t really dig too deep into their discography, but I knew for certain that they were something special. What made me realize how truly special of a band they were was when I saw them open for Deftones in 2011 at Best Buy Theater in New York City (which is now known as Playstation Theater). These guys are completely relentless, and it seems that while being fucking animalistic on stage, they manage to play their songs to near perfection. This is when I truly started becoming a fan of this band and began digging deeper into their discography. Within the coming years, these guys would quickly become a favorite of mine, and to this day remain as such.
There truly isn’t a band like The Dillinger Escape Plan. Very few artists in general manage to release solid material time and again lie these guys sure as hell have - even at their lowest, they still display incredible talent. I think this is one of the main reasons why I am not so upset about the breakup. When a band has done nothing but make good music and perform some of the most thrilling live performances in music for something close to two decades, it’s really hard to complain. I’ve seen the group three times and will see them as much as I can in the next year, and have even had the privilege of meeting guitarist Ben Weinman. So for someone like me to complain would be nothing but selfish. I’m super stoked to see what will come of Dissociation, as well as relieving the rest of their discography. It’s surely going to be an emotional journey, but nothing short of fun as well.
To The Dillinger Escape Plan, if you are reading this: thank you. You’ve given us nearly twenty years of abrasive music spanning over six LPs and four EPs. That’s something I don’t think any of us could ever take for granted. Whether this is the end or a temporary goodbye, you will be missed.