Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
The Dillinger Escape Plan - Ire Works CD (album) cover


The Dillinger Escape Plan

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
5 stars The Dillinger Escape Plan is treated oh so unjustly on this website. Besides being the premier band in the "math" metalcore catagory, practically reinventing metal and hardcore upon their coming, they are one of the most experimental bands music has to offer. I'm not one who believes that music must be rated highly for it's historical importance alone, but it's something worth noting.

With Ire Works, the band gets really, really experimental. Amongst their traditional manic metal/hardcore/jazz pieces are electronic experiments, Faith No More-esque tunes, and more! From the wild beginning of Vocalist Greg Puciato explores territory touch upon in Miss Machine to a much larger extent; besides the yelling, he proves to be a capable singer, both in a grungy style and a clean one, with a great falsetto. New drummer Gil Sharone fills Chris Pennie's with poise. Ben Weinman, the last founding member left in the group, takes on all of the guitar parts, and also utilizes some keys throughout the record, which add a nice touch. And Liam Wilson's bass work continues to be top-notch.

When listening to The Dillinger Escape Plan for the first time, you may get the feeling that their work is messy and unintelligible. This is not true. A lot of time, thought, and effort was put into calculating these pieces. Everything makes sense once you give it time to digest. The riffs are often dissonant and crazy, but you'll realize that you remember them after listening to the album. The yelled vocals are even memorable. They are just as forceful and rhythmically enforced as Meshuggah's, and there's more of a variety to boot.

The album opens with two wild ones: "Fix Your Face" and "Lurch." For those not adjusted to this group, these songs may not sit well with you until you've listened through the rest and started over, but they are both gems. "Black Bubblegum" moves us into a post-grunge/Faith No More type sound that is the "Unretrofied" of this record - one of the pieces that has an easy to follow structure. "Sick on Sunday" is a fabulous track that starts of as a bizarre montage of electronics and instrumentation before turning into a seriously rocking ditty with a great melody and great attention to detail, adding some cool sound effects to accentuate the key beats. The next set of songs is kind of a series of shot pieces that oscillate between mad soundscapes and classic DEP, of course filled with some nifty patterns and riffs. Try to count along! You can't! It never gets old or predictable! "Milk Lizard" is another piece that is very song-like, with some very interesting vocal work, and again, great fine-detailing is present with the adding of horn swells into the verse, which does have a very subtle swing about it. "Party Smasher," "Dead as History" and "Horse Hunter" don't present anything new to the record, but are all just as great, if not more in some spots. And finally, the closer is an all-time high for the band. "Mouth of Ghosts," going from a lounge-jazz piano atop an ethereal ambience and smooth vocals to a simple yet expansive and very powerful closing proves to be the most expressive and awe-inspiring song the band has ever done.

The Dillinger Escape Plan continue to push the envelope, and not once do they overdo it. None of these songs sound the same, but they all somehow sound like they belong together. Way to go, guys!

Report this review (#150759)
Posted Wednesday, November 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Ire Works continues where Miss Machine left off. There are enough similarities here to ensure if you liked Miss Machine, you will like Ire Works. The progressiveness of the music has definitely increased--there is much more electronic experimentation, more mellowness, and more full blown jazz. But DEP fans shouldn't despair, the aggressiveness is still very much present in the music. There are a few songs (Black Bubblegum and Dead as History) that could definitely pass for radio songs (albeit non-mainstream radio songs) in the vein of MM's Unretrofied, but they also don't give the impression like DEP is selling out. What I find really interesting is that all of this diversity is packed into a relatively short album. All these elements fit together to make a rich listening experience-- everything has it's place, and although there are interludes, they seem to be well placed because nothing smacks of filler material. It's very dense, and if you blink or get lost in a daydream, you'll miss some important stuff--that's how quickly things move on this album. I give the album 4.5 stars according to my personal taste, but I know a lot of prog listeners don't take kindly to music that doesn't immediately smack of "progressiveness," so be warned that it may take some listeners a while to get into it. Their progressiveness is more subtle than some groups--but it's definitely present. And who wants obvious all the time? Obvious is way too easy. Also be warned, if you don't identify with a vocalist being angry at times, you probably won't identify with this album, nor Miss Machine. But otherwise, it's a very good album, and chocked full of musical goodness. On top of all of this, progsters, hipsters, and metal-heads can all appreciate it.
Report this review (#155758)
Posted Monday, December 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
The T
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.

Report this review (#168513)
Posted Wednesday, April 23, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars This being my first Dillinger Escape Plan album, I didn't really know how to accept them, but I had enough practice with Sikth, Protest The Hero, Fall Of Troy & The Locust to know what I was up against.

And yes, this is an amazing math metal album.

Very crazy and frantic, but also great songwrtiting, and at times great chorus.

This seems to be their best album, but only have 2, so don't take my word for it.

1. Fix Your Face - Has a crazy Mastodon meets Mudhoney vibe. Pretty cool middle section. 9/10

2. Lurch - Quite discordant and very frantic. 8/10

3. Black Bubblegum - Very cheesy but works well. Incredible chorus. I have a feeling the song is about their former drummer Chris Pennie, who decided to leave them and drum for Coheed & Cambria. 10/10

4. Sick On Sunday - Obvious Aphex Twin influence. Love the dynamic changes. 10/10

5. When Acting As A Particle - Has quite a sinister atmosphere. Pretty spooky. 9/10

6. Nong Eye Gong - Quite jazzy. Very frantic. Short and sweet. 8/10

7. When Acting As A Wave - Mixes polyrhythyms with Aphex Twin noise. Pretty amazing. 10/10

8. 82588 - Some very frantic guitar work. Alot of disjunct fretwork. Very weird middle section. 8/10

9. Milk Lizard - Amazing song with a brilliant chorus and some werid instrumental choices. Pretty cool video. 10/10

10. Party Smasher - Great change in dynamics. Alot of crazy moments. 8/10

11. Dead As History - Another Aphex Twin like intro. The flute and piano sections sound like King Crimson. Pretty cool chorus. 9/10

12. Horse Hunter - Love how the song changes from crazy Math metal into lounge jazz with distorted guitars. Great lyrics and vocals. 9/10

13. Mouth Of Ghosts - Pretty cool laidback song. Love the build up. The piano work in the middle is amazing. 9/10

CONCLUSION: Not a masterpiece, but one great album.

Report this review (#288789)
Posted Thursday, July 1, 2010 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars 'Ire Works' continues from where 'Miss Machine' left off, applying the more melodic approach to their music while still being as angry and aggressive as ever. The album also experiments much further than previous efforts, with some tracks focusing on pure mathcore while others add an extremely distinct electronic element to them, while others are a completely different beast, being alternative metal along the lines of Faith No More. This diversity makes the album an extremely interesting listen making you question what the next track has in store, and never dropping this unpredictability throughout.

The album starts off with an immense one-two punch with 'Fix Your Face' and 'Lurch'. Both of these songs follow the traditional style of TDEP, filled with extremely raw anger and incredibly violent instrumentation, with complex changes, yet sounding making to simply freaking out on all of them. Even in these two songs, particularly 'Fix Your Face', there is still some clear sign of the more melodic approach, with moments using very clear guitar riffs for a few moments before returning to the regular chaos of the music. 'Black Bubblegum' is the equivalent to 'Setting Fire To Sleeping Giants' or 'Unretrofied' of this album, with a heavier leaning on an alt-metal sound, being a fun, catchy, accessible song. I do really enjoy this song both despite how simple and especially out of place it sounds, as I find the chorus to be greatly enjoyable. The middle portion of the album, form 'Sick On Sunday' to '82588' follow a very similar concept, each being very short experiments with electronics, making for some really cool sounding songs. 'Sick on Sunday' has a really cool, glitchy effect to it, akin to that of breakcore. This song honestly reminds me of something by 'Igorrr' in terms of the frenetic drumming combined with the vocal performance. 'When Acting As A Wave' is the other highlight of this section, messing around with time signatures and rhythm to an extreme degree, making for an extremely strange, yet entertaining listen that makes full use of the technology at play. 'Milk Lizard' is one of the most entertaining songs on the album, despite the simplicity and less prominent aggression of it. I really enjoy the main riff with the horns backing it up, which then leads into a really great chorus. This is easily the catchiest, most enjoyable song by the band, and while I know that this isn't what this band is about, it doesn't change the fact that it's a downright great song. 'Party Smasher' is another standard DEP track without too much that stands out about it, but it still is a pretty fun track with some awesome breakdowns.

The final three tracks are my personal favourite part of the album, having some melody while also being really great and experimental, rather than just catchy and fun. 'Dead As History' has a sublime, atmospheric intro, with a quiet electronic beat to it with what seems like female operatic vocals in the background. This song then develops into an awesome use of electronic music with rock, while the vocals have an eerie sound almost similar to that of Jonathon Davis from 'Korn'. The song goes through various changes, with a great chorus that then transitions into some great use of piano as your can faintly hear chugging of guitars. 'Horse Hunter' moves from style to style with reckless abandon, starting off sounding like a regular mathcore song, before breaking down into jazz, all before focusing more on atmosphere, with some decent falsetto vocals. My favourite part of this is the last minute, which features Brent Hinds from 'Mastodon', completely stealing the show with a great vocal hook that really makes the song something special. 'Mouth Of Ghosts' proves to be one of the best songs the band has made, having a really beautiful intro that leads into a great Latin section. The song builds upon itself more and more as it progresses, with the lead up to the vocals adding a great deal of subtle elements, such as the at first quiet maracas. The percussion in general is quite impressive here, and this is a great closer in general.

There are a couple of issues I have with this album however, despite it being mostly great. My one issue is that some of the middle section is quite unmemorable, particularly '82588', which I find offers very little to the album, being by far the least memorable pure mathcore songs, and don't even find the second, quieter half to be particularly interesting. My biggest issue with this album is definitely the confused tone that it has, which while on one hand, plays nicely as a strength in terms of it being unpredictable, keeping you on your toes throughout, it also has the issue that certain songs, most notably 'Black Bubblegum' end up being incredibly jarring. Other than this, there aren't any major problems to speak of, since this album is great for the most part, with even the strange tone of it to not be anything big enough to drop the album for.

I really like the further experimentation present on this album, and find the eclectic nature of it to make it a highlight of 'The DIllinger Escape Plan's' discography, displaying their ability to create good music of many differing styles. I find the electronic influence to also be quite admirable here, as it is utilised in such a way that fits perfectly into what is trying to be created. While this is nothing like the completely unhinged violence of 'Calculating Infinity', it's still an extremely high quality album that I greatly enjoy.

Best Songs: Milk Lizard, Horse Hunter, Mouth of Ghosts

Weakest Songs: 82588, When Acting As A Particle

Verdict: A more accessible album by TDEP, that while tonally off at times, is still an extremely enjoyable listening experience that touches upon a wide variety of styles. I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys extremely heavy music yet also doesn't mind to have an extremely varied listening experience. For those who don't enjoy heavy music, I'd recommend listening to Black Bubblegum, Dead As History and Mouth Of Ghosts, as these tracks are more than suitable for a somewhat wider audience.

Report this review (#2116230)
Posted Monday, January 7, 2019 | Review Permalink
4 stars The Dillinger Escape Plan is a solid band. Whether you call them metalcore, mathcore, progressive metal, whatever, they are a great band. Ire works is album number three for by this band. It's also the third studio album by the band, how apt. No worries, this album is loaded with technical, experimental metal that is sure to please the progressive fan.

A standout track for me was Black Bubblegum. Why? There is two things: 1. The singer sounds almost exactly like Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails. 2. The song is slower and more akin to progressive rock, or at least a lighter progressive metal. Black Bubblegum is a neat song, as it sounds different from the rest of the songs on Ire Works. I also like the album art. Something about it catches my eye, it also looks very prog, mathematical. The rest of the album is classic Dillinger, that is, screaming, crazy technical metal that I enjoy, as should you.

The Dillinger Escape Plan deserves some more love on this website, in my opinion at least. You can rip on them for their first album, or the fact that their music is very aggressive and demanding but you have to remember that they make some really solid metal, and prog of course. I love this band even though It took me a second to get into them. (look at my review of One of us is the Killer) I love this band and their music and I'm sad that they don't record or tour anymore but their music never gets old, which is always a good thing. I wouldn't start with this album if you're getting into the band, that would be One of us is the Killer but that doesn't mean that Ire Works isn't good, because it's great.

Report this review (#2496166)
Posted Thursday, January 21, 2021 | Review Permalink

THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN Ire Works ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN Ire Works

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.