There are some bands who have managed to hone their craft and combine their influences so well that it’s almost impossible to apply them to any singular umbrella genre. Dillinger Escape Plan have been one of those outfits. Sure, you can label them as a band who occupy the heavier, alternative side of today’s music scene, but there’s so much more going on in their sound. Shortly after announcing their sixth studio effort, Dissociation, in late 2016, they also announced that they would be disbanding after the subsequent tour. That’s beside the point, though; what matters is how they’ve combined all their auditory traits with both old and new tricks in this last album; and it’s a perfect encapsulation of their art. Opener "Limerent Death" delivers the goods in totally unexpected and never-tired fashion -- dredging, distorted riffs with vocalist Greg Puciato's menacing, harsh vocals spit vigor at the listener before launching full-throttle into a bombastic tempo with pummeling drum work from Billy Rymer, akin to "Fix Your Face" from 2007’s Ire Works. The track culminates in the aforementioned tempo, gradually increasing with Puciato’s distressed vocals building alongside it, eventually bringing everything into an astonishing cacophony of noise. Second track "Symptoms of a Terminal Illness" presents pretty much the opposite. It has a more accessible time signature and harsh yet smoothly executed guitar chords somewhat reminiscent of tracks like Miss Machine's "Unretrofied." Something that should be mentioned from hereon in is that having decided this record would be their swan song, they didn't go through every disparate stylistic sound they’ve experimented with and thrown it all into the pot; instead, they picked through their aural history with a fine-tooth comb, truly delivering some of their most eclectic compositions. "Low Feels Blvd" is a dizzying, organized mess that’s occasionally punctuated by distorted stabs before suddenly segueing into some light jazz refrains that remind us of the past-affiliated Mike Patton; especially some of his glowing moments on Mr. Bungle's California album. There's also "Fugue," which channels the glitchy aural traits of Squarepusher and Aphex Twin, hearkening back to some of the sparse electronica layered throughout Ire Works. It’s a very layered and eclectic album, which comes as no surprise to anyone who is familiar with the band’s back catalog. They’ve never really adhered to any generic sonic palette and the result here would please any longtime fan or newcomer. Closing the disc is the aptly named title track; it's made up of warm, melancholy strings and pulsating electronic beats that transcend into pounding organic drums and crashing cymbals with Puciato crying the words "finding a way to die alone" as the mix fades and falls away around him. Dissociation is an impressive album and a perfect endpoint to a very noisy and varied body of work. Comprised of both familiar elements of DEP’s back catalog along with some new tricks, it will satisfy fans with an affection for the myriad involved sounds caught in Dillinger’s prism of noise.
AllMusic Review by Rob Wacey