Dillinger Escape Plan - Calculating Infinity (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Dillinger Escape Plan

Calculating Infinity (1999)


Listening to this album is alot like watching a building being demolished. It may seem chaotic, violent, and even frightening to some, but you also realize that alot of planning and crafting went into making this work out right. Another way to put it, is that this is well organized chaos. But enough metaphors for now, let's get down to the actual music.

From the high fretboard finger tapping at the beginning of "Sugar Coated Sour" to the obligatory movie sound clip at the end, this album never fails to impress me. With all the tempo changes and odd time signatures, it's a wonder these guys remember how to play this stuff live. When discussing this band, one can't help but bring up the technical aspect of things. With the aforementioned tempo changes, breakdowns that sound like a mix of circus music and jazz, and the use of strange scales you don't hear used much, Dillinger delivers the goods. Add to this the flawless drumming of Chris Pennie and you have yourself some amazing music.

On top of the musical insanity, you hear the deranged vocals of Dimitri Minakakis, who seems to be literally screaming his lungs out. This brings me to the lyrics. Dillinger has had a reputation for having some of the strangest lyrics around, and this CD does nothing to disprove it. While lines like "Alfresco slapsticked foam mouth sunshine" aren't exactly profound, they do fit the atmosphere that "Calculating Infinity"creates. The atmosphere of a musical nervous breakdown.

This is an album I would consider essential for any fan of technical music, or just heavy music in general. Admittedly this isn't for everyone, alot of people will be turned away by the harsh and chaotic sound. But if you do decide to check this out, give it a few listens before you pass any sort of judgement, because it takes a while to really grasp the many layers of things going on in these songs.