Dillinger Escape Plan is one of the most influential and important bands in metal. Their music is fast, heavy, and sophisticated. It’s a constant struggle between chaos and control that will leave you blown away. With 6 studio albums to their name, ranking all Dillinger Escape Plan albums can seem like a daunting task. But it really isn’t that hard when you break it down album by album.
6. Ire Works
Released in 2007, Ire Works is the band’s third studio album. While it’s an excellent album, it doesn’t quite reach the standards set by the band’s prior albums. It was released on Relapse records, and is best known for the track “The Perfect Design”. It’s also the first album after the drummer Chris Pennie departed from the band. The album received mixed reviews, but still sold decently enough for the band to continue on. Because of the wild success of ‘Miss Machine’, the band successfully avoided their sophomore slump record, and gave themselves the liberty to get more experimental and dive more into the math rock elements that they enjoyed, which is clear to hear on this record.
5. Option Paralysis
Dillinger’s fourth full length album from 2010 is another solid piece of work from the band. On this one, they’re exploring their more ambient side, which is really something like nothing else. Option Paralysis was released in 2010 on guitarist Ben Weinmans’ imprint record Party Smasher, which formed specifically for the release of this record. This came about after they had fulfilled their contract with Relapse Records, and wanted to own more of their music masters and publishing rights. Fortuantely, they stuck with long time producer Steve Evetts, who helped keep them on track and true to their sound.
Dissociation is the band’s sixth and most recent studio album, released in 2016 after their extended hiatus. It is also dubbed as their final record, as the band is currently inactive. The record was also released via Party Smasher, and was also produced by Steve Evetts. The band always intended for this record to be their last, and they broke up after the album cycle. The singles from this album include “Limerent Death” and “Symptom Of Terminal Illness”, which both have themes that match that of the band finally coming to an end, but on their own terms. They were met with high acclaim from both fans and music critics alike.
3. Calculating Infinity
The band’s debut album, Calculating Infinity might just be the best album from them that captures their early chaotic sound. It is certainly the most influential record for mathcore and metalcore bands today. The record features an intense display of breakdowns, crazy time signature changes, and skramz vocals. The opener track “Sugar Coated Sour” is one of Dillinger Escape Plan’s most recognizable songs ever. While “43% Burnt” is one of the most chaotic songs in their catalog. The band allowed guitarist Ben Weinman to play his guitar through an amplifier that he built himself, which was later dubbed ‘drone’. This album made Dillinger a household name in metal, and it’s considered a classic record.
2. Miss Machine
The sophomore record from Dillinger Escape Plan came in 2004, and helped catapult the band into a new realm of success. With three powerful singles, they were able to rapidly grow their fanbase and make a household name for themselves. Their biggest singles were “Panasonic Youth”, “Setting Fire To Sleeping Giants”, and “Unretrofied”. This album is based entirely on the concept of a dystopian future, and the struggles of the working class. Each track describes different social issues, which was something that was new to Dillinger at the time. This made for a more relatable record, not just for metal heads, but for everyone.
1. One Of Us Is The Killer
Probably the most well known album from Dillinger Escape Plan, One Of Us Is The Killer is fifth full length album from the band, and was released in 2013. It was a one off album that was released via notable Los Angeles based metal label, Sumerian Records. It includes the much loved single ‘Prancer’ that received a ton of radio play when it was released. But more than that, this record is a huge step forward for the band. They were becoming less like their peers and more experimental, to where they didn’t even sound like they were from the same genre as their contemporaries. Their first three songs garnered the most attention along with “Prancer”, including the title track “One Of Us Is The Killer”, and “When I Lost My Bet”. Dillinger Escape Plan is widely regarded as the best mathcore band to ever exist, and rightfully so. They’ve made some of the most intense, thought provoking, and musically complex music that you’ll ever hear. To put their sound into perspective, they are the most sonically unique band in all of metal. Their influence can be heard in a lot of modern metal bands today, with their chaotic nature and progressive songwriting style.
Dillinger Escape Plan is a band that I hold very dear to my heart and is one of my all time favorite bands. So when it came to writing this list I didn’t take it lightly. The band’s career was short lived when you consider how much success they packed into that 12 year span, but they were able to end on their own terms, which is a very admirable thing for a band to do. They each continue with their own side projects, and still work closely with producer Steve Evetts.