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"Calculating Infinity" (Relapse)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

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I caught The Dillinger Escape Plan in concert back in November '99 and was blown away by the technical and chaotic explosion I witnessed. The Dillinger Escape Plan utilize the same "mathematical" elements in their music that originally attracted me to Meshuggah. As a result, the band's left-of-center approach immediately appeals to my desire to hear something unique, yet also satisfies my desire to simply rock out.

It is difficult to explain The Dillinger Escape Plan to those unfamiliar with the band. It's not quite hardcore nor is it anything close to metal, but it is a combination of wild musical ruminations condensed into snappy vignettes of catharsis. The songs oscillate like a dizzying strobe light flashing directly in your eyes - it has the same blinding effect on the brain, too. Yet, at no time does the music asphyxiate itself under its own weight.

The Dillinger Escape Plan alternate between splatter-shot riffing, zealous noise, bouncing bass, subdued (almost jazz-like) atmospheres, intense and complex assortments of drum patterns, and exhausting vocals. The Dillinger Escape Plan manage to re-write the musical rulebook with splendid results.

My favorite tracks include the polyrhythmic workout of "43% Burnt," the avant-garde hypnosis of "#.." and "Calculating Infinity," the 'Clutch-on-speed' mechanization of "The Running Board," and the mutilated fury of "Variations On A Cocktail Dress."

"Calculating Infinity" is unorthodox, mind-boggling, and definitely not for the faint of heart. The Dillinger Escape Plan, in my mind, could easily challenge their cohorts Candiria for the hardcore-metal-jazz sub-genre heavyweight title.

The Dillinger Escape Plan is Adam Doll on bass, Dimitri Minakakis on vocals, Chris Pennie on drums, Benjamin Weinman and Brian Benoit on guitars.

For more information visit "The Compound" at

Rating Guide:

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) A classic. This record will kick your ass.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) So-so. You've heard better.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

restinks.jpg (954 bytes) Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2000 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 23 Nov 2020 20:51:45 -0500.