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The Dillinger Escape Plan - Ire Works CD (album) cover

IRE WORKS

The Dillinger Escape Plan

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.67 | 67 ratings

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The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I have to say it from the beginning: as much as I like some extreme forms of metal (black/death) I just can't tolerate most hardcore-mathcore-metalcore music out there. I simply can't go pass the noise, the awful screaming voices and the senseless violence.

Having said that, IRE WORKS is an album that almost falls into all of those categories that I mentioned, but it's saved by some redeeming features.

On the bad side of things (for me), the record's most violent tracks are just a mess of extremely fast riffs and drumming that leave no room for any kind of subtlety and melody. I know that melody was never the goal of THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN when writing this album, but even in violent music, I need something that makes up for the total absence of a tune. If I hear MESSHUGAH, the most ruthless melody-killer ever, I can be amazed at the technicality, at the truly outstanding riffs and the interaction of the guitars and the insane drums; there's nothing like that in this album. When the violence strikes, every ounce of reason is lost amidst noise, terrible, senseless noise. The band tries to get progressive or technical by performing sudden stops or unexpected scales in the middle of heavy parts, but it just sounds like a gimmick. As it is seldom repeated in the curse of the same song, those displays of musicianship don't become a part of the band's sound but just accessories, little ornaments. Compare this with BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME and then you'll see the difference: in the latter, everything sounds like a part of the whole; in IRE WORKS, it all seems like an afterthought.

Another element I don't enjoy in this album are the vocals, but I know that's a hopeless cause as I have always had problems with hardcore vocalists. Yes, I can enjoy death metal's growling or black metal's high-pitched shrieks, when they are controlled and sound like an integral part of the music. DEP's vocalist sounds like.. an angry man shouting. That's it. It's not a style of vocals that has an effect, that tries to create a distinct atmosphere, in hardcore or metalcore, you just... try to be as noisy and repelent as you can.

Finally, on the bad side, this style of music always has the problem of structure. That's easy to understand: if songs are only made of extremely unintelligible riffs and instrument-bashing, it's quite difficult for the mind to grasp any idea of a structural map if all it detects is noise. And most of the violent songs in this album are like that.

On the good side of things, DES's members show that they can play. There are moments when their great skills shine through the pile of noise. Some, SOME of the technical afterthoughts I mentioned above actually work, and there's even a few that truly fit in. Also, when the band slows things down, when the reckless violence recedes a little bit, the band can sound like a promising outfit, with glimpses of atmosphere, restraint, self-control, and even some melody. Even though at times their calmer moments sound quite a bit awkward in the context of the whole album: take for example the song Black Bubblegum. When you listen to it and then listen to the rest of the record, it sounds like two completely different bands, one verging on alternative-rock (with touches of STP, Faith No More, even post-grunge elements), the other a noisy beast with influences from Pantera, Messhugah, and many mathcore groups.

The rating this album gets from me is a 2.5 out of 5. But as I really didn't enjoy the experience, I'll do as always and go with my feelings. I have to give it a 2 out of 5.

Recommended for metal/mathcore enthusiasts. But beware: there are better bands out there, at least from my perspective. I can enjoy some of this music from time to time, but with DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, I just couldn't.

The T | 2/5 |

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