Dissociation- The Dillinger Escape Plan
Words by Matthew Brooks
Dissociation is TDEP’s final album. It would be easy to read into this when analysing the lyrics on this album, but it’s also easy to understand why Dillinger didn’t feel they had anything more to offer artistically. Dissociation is a masterpiece and it cements Dillinger’s legacy as one of- if not the- greatest bands of all time. Whether it’s the less outright chaotic tracks like the schizophrenic drum and bass of Fugue, and the haunting, beautiful title-track, or the “standard” Dillinger fare of pure unadulterated mayhem like Limerent Death or Honeysuckle. Ben Wienman’s distinctive guitar parts mesh better than ever with Greg Puciato’s jaw dropping vocal performance. As always with Dillinger, the drumming is incredible, handling the shifting rhythms, time signatures and styles with apparent ease. As with any album from this band, it’s impossible to comment on every single genre touched on and it’s an album that demands your full attention. It’s best to go into this with an open mind and lose yourself with the chaos. Dissociation may well be the best album ever written, even if it’s not for everyone.
Avenged Sevenfold – The Stage
Words by David Steed
The career of Avenged Sevenfold has certainly been a strange one. They started their career as one of the metalcore bands of the early 00s, but quickly began adding a more refined and mature style to their music, culminating with their breakthrough album, City of Evil, in 2005. The band continued to reinforce themselves as one of modern metals elite with a run of impressive albums, surviving hardship and heartbreak along the way, notably with the tragic death of drummer James ‘The Rev’ Sullivan in 2009. In 2013 the band released Hail to the King, an album that, while divisive due its radio-friendly metal template, scored the band a headline slot at Download Festival. You would think that after that the band would just build on Hail to the Kings successful formula, but Avenged Sevenfold have never been a band to repeat themselves. They did the complete opposite and recorded one the most musically rich and diverse albums of their career: The Stage. While it may not have many of the features of what is typically considered ‘progressive’ metal (except long track lengths), The Stage is a progressive metal album by any definition. It plays with song structures, has extended instrumental sections of varying tempos and intensity, experiments with different rhythms and adds subtle embellishments from various orchestrations and keyboard/synths. The hard-hitting riffs, lead guitar work and unmistakeable vocals will be familiar to anyone who has heard City of Evil, but the whole thing has a more mature and experimental edge. The hooks are less obvious, and the unusual melodic combinations particularly make this stand out (take the verse of “Sunny Disposition” or the almost happy sounding blast beats of “Fermi Paradox” for example). Not that unusual means unpleasant, and tracks like “Paradigm” and “God Damn” pull off that rare feat of sounding both unique and instantly engaging. By the time you get to the closing fifteen-minute epic, “The Stage”, you have been on one heck of a musical journey. The Stage shows a band who are never willing to stand still. They chose this moment to really push how far they could go while still retaining the signature sound and feel of Avenged Sevenfold, and in doing so surprised the music world in the best possible way.