The Dillinger Escape Plan - Miss Machine [Relapse - 2004]5 years after their debut full-length Calculating Infinity, The Dillinger Escape Plan are back with a new album, Miss Machine. Be warned: things have changed. And how could they have not changed?
Calculating Infinity can be considered as a cornerstone in mathcore, featuring the best in jazz-influenced, mathematically-structure hardcore, with very tight musicians. The question was: how are you going to improve on that? The answer: donít do the same thing twice. And we should be thankful they didnít, since the more mathcore oriented tracks on this album are quite boring. During the five years that went by in-between both albums, DEP toured a lot, lost their singer, recoded a great ep with Mike Patton on vocals in 2002, found a new singer, toured a lot, recorded a new album, toured a lot, released the new album. New man Greg Puciato is probably a better vocalist than Dimitri, he sure is much more versatile.
It seems fair to say that the collaboration with Patton did much to change DEPís music. I think his influence can be heard on the whole album, in Pucianoís voice on some tracks, as well as some moments that are very alike Tomahawk or Fantomas tracks. Overall, the album is much less frantic than DEPís previous works, really. Itís still extreme, but it doesnít go in every direction anymore, at least not inside a song. However, itís fair to say that the album is very varied. To the obvious mathcore bits and aforementioned Patton-influenced moments, DEP add a lot of other influences. On the second track, you get a guitar / keys break that sounds like some Dimmu Borgir (too bad it doesnít sound like Emperor). Highway Robbery start like a trashy Dimmu songs before mutating into a catchier metalcore tune with a quite melodic chorus. Phone Home is a Nine Inch Nails song, I have no doubts about that. It really sounds as if DEP were on the exact same wavelength as Reznor when writing this one. Quite impressive. Setting for to sleeping giants is a damn catchy mix of alt rock and metal with a stadium rock chorus. It would make a very good single, and should get them a lot more fans. Even better in the genre is Unretrofied, although it mixes industrial rock, alt rock and stadium rock this time around.
This is a pretty strong album. Nothing to say about the composition, nothing to say about the execution. But whether this album reflects DEPís musical vision or the vision they have of their favourite CDís remain to be seen. Iím just happy to like this album a lotÖ
Photo credit: J. HubbardFranÁois Monti