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The Dillinger Escape Plan

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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The Dillinger Escape Plan Calculating Infinity album cover
3.70 | 85 ratings | 12 reviews | 34% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sugar Coated Sour (2:24)
2. 43% Burnt (4:31)
3. Jim Fear (2:22)
4. *#.. (2:41)
5. Destro's Secret (1:56)
6. The Running Board (3:21)
7. Clip the Apex... Accept Instruction (3:29)
8. Calculating Infinity (2:02)
9. 4th Grade Dropout (3:36)
10. Weekend Sex Change (3:11)
11. Variations on a Cocktail Dress (7:57)

Total Time 37:30

Line-up / Musicians

- Dimitri Minakakis / vocals
- Benjamin Weinman / guitars
- Brian Benoit / guitar
- Adam Doll / bass
- Chris Pennie / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Adam Peterson

CD Relapse Records ‎- RR 6427-2 (1999, US)

LP Hydra Head Records ‎- HH666-43 (1999, US)

Digital album

Thanks to Solids2k for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN Calculating Infinity ratings distribution

(85 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(34%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN Calculating Infinity reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by King of Loss
2 stars Calculating Infinity is The Dillinger Escape Plan's first stab at making an album. THis complete album is an amazing insane mix of many genres which include Metal, Hardcore, Experimental Rock, Jazz, Noise, Noisecore, Grind and Grindcore. Songs on this album sometimes just blow me away with its extreme variation, but at times just cumbersomely noisy and annoying.

But one thing that this album has really exceled in was making The Dillinger Escape Plan into a band that is not afraid to experiment with new heavy, distorted sounds mixed with some of the old Post-Hardcore sounds mixed in Jazz influences like many of their Hardcore/Noisecore counterparts. But I must say, this is far from being the best Progressive Rock album, since it is NOT Progressive Rock. It is just Experimental Grind- Death-Noisecore.

This is a very good album, but non-essential and not recommended since many would absolutely hate their brutally heavy sound and label it as noise.


Review by hdfisch
2 stars I'm scared that this kind of "music" is just not bearable for well-trained and spoilt ears like mine! Don't get me wrong I'm not the type of listener who hates avant-garde in general.I even enjoy to listen to SOME experimental stuff. But not if it's just for the extremity's and novelty's sake and doesn't have much to do with music as we know it. And in my opinion this is the case here. The technical abilities of the musicians certainly are stainding out. They can play really fast in a breathtaking manner. But what it is good for when those extremely fast melodies that don't fit together at all are combined with a really alienating voice and lyrics that don't make any sense. Surprisingly there are even some "normal" passages but on the other hand they are too few and too little special either to save this piece of work.

Avant-garde is a highly critically acclaimed thing in general per se and visionaries and pioneers have usually a hard live to go. That's why I'm appreciating avant-garde music otherwise but these guys here I refuse to count even as such.It's just noise and environmental pollution and only good for completely insane fellows looking all the time for something completely different from anything else done before.

Review by Moatilliatta
4 stars The album that revolutionized metal and hardcore, Calculating Infinity delivered an unheard of blend of extremely technical metal, hardcore and jazz. Though many have ventured to this territory, no one has been able to do it quite like The Dillinger Escape Plan. These guys are highly skilled and very creative, but difficult to tolerate at times. The music on this disc is brutal for all but a few minutes on this disc, and it's difficult to enjoy. Vocalist Dimitri Minakakis can certainly keep up with the other members, but his voice lacks depth and is just plain grating. There isn't much else you can do on top of such music, but the vocalists the band works with in the future have more of a personality and, thanks to their exceptional growth compositionally, are able to do much more. Nevertheless, tracks like "Sugar Coated Sour" and "43% Burnt" are fascinating tracks and are still played on a regular basis live.

While on future releases the band would develop more variety and memorability, this constantly jarring chaos still stands as one of the most challenging and innovative albums in the history of metal and hardcore.

Review by Prog Sothoth
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars When I first heard this album I was reminded of a man I saw on a street corner shouting his brains out through a megaphone. There was conviction and a sense of desperation in his voice, but in all honesty I couldn't decipher a single thing he was saying, and neither could anyone else passing by either. Oblivious to the bad acoustics and cheap megaphone, he railed on and possibly warned us about something, but in actuality he was wasting his entire afternoon since no one could hear him if they even cared.

Calculating Infinity has that aspect, but it also has a ton of musical energy to compensate for the relentless shouting about "stuff". Frantic and aggressive, the music lunges with ripping fast rhythms between hardcore, metal and even some grind influences while retaining a technical tightness usually reserved for technical metal and prog bands. The focus is mainly on the tempos and time signatures, thus the drummer is easily the most important member here, and does a fine job keeping busy while anchoring this whole project. The songs themselves are mostly noisy and violent pieces that can suddenly at any time shift into moments of jazzy fusion or just sheer ridiculous head-scratching weirdness for a brief spell for no apparent reason than to keep the listener guessing.

Meanwhile, far off on the horizon, a little penis wiggles in the wind.

The important thing about Calculating Infinity is that despite the seeming randomness to it all, I never get bored by the experience. Granted the vocals took some getting used to as they don't veer much from that constant yelling with occasional 'whispery' passages to add variety, and some of the atonal chugging sections begin to wear out their welcome just before the music shifts into something with hints of melody or a slow atmospheric never knows what will happen next. It's a fun record to be enjoyed by those into raucous music that has its roots in hardcore music while brandishing their instruments like seasoned aces with a fixation on time signatures and polyrhythms. Later on, the band would branch out towards more experimental realms and a better variance of vocalizations, but here is the group at its basic foundation, what they are essentially known for above all else.

Review by Necrotica
5 stars Calculating Infinity is the perfect example of an album that takes the rulebook of its genre(s) and throws it out completely. It's the flawless melding of brutality and sophistication, of anger and despair, of hardcore euphoria and jazz-driven mathematics. And the members of The Dillinger Escape Plan were certainly aware of what they were doing too. Guitarist and figurehead Ben Weinman was once quoted as saying on The Independent:

"Calculating Infinity was us effectively ripping up the music theory book; if someone said 'don't harmonise with a second, it just sounds out of tune', then every single lead we did, we'd harmonise with a second. It sounded disgusting, but we did it".

This music is controlled rage, but just because it's controlled doesn't mean it's sterile or edgeless. The complex, labyrinthine arrangements are given plenty of vocal ammunition through Dimitri Minakakis' tortured, chilling screams. And I'll certainly give the band credit: they don't mess around when it comes to storming the gate early. "Sugar Coated Sour" is both a phenomenal thesis statement of the album's sound and practically a war cry for any listener interested in joining the band for this unique event. The dissonant guitar harmonies, impossibly precise drumkit grinding, and furious wailing are incredible markers of what you'll be hearing throughout this brief experience. About 90% of Calculating Infinity is a mixture of blinding speeds, jaw-dropping technical prowess, and the rare moment of unsettling reflection. Those calmer sections are a great way for the band to show their vast range of influences as well, such as the incredible polyrhythmic prog-oriented bridge of "43% Burnt" or the avant-jazz chord progressions of the slow melodic (?) section of "The Running Board." Even more curious are the few interludes that mark the record, leaning more on the avant-garde side of its identity. The title track and "*#.." are enjoyable Meshuggah-esque ditties that rely on strange rhythms and little diminished guitar "pops," while "Weekend Sex Change" combines sampling, depressive guitar melodies, and incredible drum soloing into one fascinating fusion.

The most impressive thing about Calculating Infinity is that both sides of its bipolar personality are so natural and well-represented. Many of us are aware of the various rumors surrounding the album's recording, most famously the decision to roll dice to determine each time signature. But it's strange to think that for something so, ahem, "calculated," that every bit of hardcore aggression and raw emotion can still come out in full force. Just listen to that utterly insane intro to "Jim Fear." It doesn't give us a moment's notice to prepare for the full-on assault of scorching fretwork and deranged screams, but everything manages to be very planned and pre-staged all the same. That whole song really comes together when you reach the next section and hear the complex runs across the fretboard in unison with the rabid drums, and that concept of "controlled anarchy" comes into play. Wanna know why it all works? Because the insane technicality and the angular "prog-meets-punk" riffing ensure that each emotional catharsis is earned. The Dillinger Escape Plan somehow have the ability to turn technical prowess into atmosphere, weaving in and out of disturbing musical passages; Dimitri is simply icing on the cake with the chaos he spews over it all. But each emotional release works because the band members are incredibly skilled at building us up to those moments. Much like Converge's Jane Doe, there's a respect and care that's given to each weird transition and tempo shift despite the hell being unleashed on top of the songwriting.

At the end of the day, Calculating Infinity is simply a mesmerizing paradox; it combines mathcore, hardcore punk, free jazz, avant-garde metal, and progressive metal, and somehow manages to treat them all as equals. If you want sophisticated songwriting and complex instrumentals, this album is essential. And if you just want to [%*!#] everyone up in the moshpit, then it's still essential.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Calculating infinity is one of the masterpieces of mathcore whether you like it or not. A lot of people just call it "noise" , and they are right because it is noise, but the album is more than that. Calculating infinity is just as important to metalcore and mathcore as it is to progressive meta ... (read more)

Report this review (#2444942) | Posted by progtime1234567 | Saturday, September 5, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Masterpeice by all means. You can see that DEP are one of the most relentlessly innovative forces in music today. Many have tried to blindly categorize this band as noisecore simply because they create a very dissonant and chaotic sound with their music. Many say they have no melody and harmon ... (read more)

Report this review (#123250) | Posted by A.C. | Thursday, May 24, 2007 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Probably the most overrated band in metal. I would put this in the noisecore genre, their is no sense of jazz or even much melody or harmony whatsoever. The vocals are just awful, it just sounds like some guy screaming boring lyrics at the top of his lungs for most of the album. Yes, there mus ... (read more)

Report this review (#70851) | Posted by slowfire85 | Wednesday, March 1, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I really don't get this type of music. Earlier reviews of this album, here at progarchives, mention a hint of jazz on this album. But I do not see any evidence of this whatsoever. Jazz is the art of "deconstructing the constructed", or "disarranging the arranged", and, to me, involves a whole ... (read more)

Report this review (#62999) | Posted by denisbito | Tuesday, January 3, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars How far are Pantera and Slipknot from Chick Corea and CAB? "So close no matter how far" once upon a time said a "poet" and these guys put this phrase into practice. This album has so many elements put together that just myself i can find influences from hardcore, fusion, symphonic prog as it s ... (read more)

Report this review (#56796) | Posted by | Friday, November 18, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Amazing. This is truly one of the most unique "rock" bands of the past three decades. Yes, grind was around long before THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN with bands like Napalm Death and jazz and metal have been aggregated in the past with bands like Atheist and Cynic, but never have they been mixed toge ... (read more)

Report this review (#43575) | Posted by Solids2k | Saturday, August 20, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Masterpiece!!!Yes!! you may not now that but this record was the first one characterized as ''Math-core", been actually the founder of a totally new scene(some think that Candiria were the first one's).This album IS progressive with the full meaning of this world,because it just introduce us ... (read more)

Report this review (#43570) | Posted by suachili | Saturday, August 20, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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