An Uncertain Farewell To The Dillinger Escape Plan

All good things come to an end – or at the very least, linger in an ambiguous state of perpetual limbo. In the press release for their upcoming album, Ben Weinman, guitarist for The Dillinger Escape Plan, said that the band would be going on an indefinite hiatus upon completion of their tour. Not a month later, frontman Greg Puciato contradicted that statement by claiming that the band was definitely breaking up instead. Whatever the case may be, it sounds an awful lot like the end of an era. And like all fans who have a hard time accepting news such as this, my way of coping is to try and capture their legacy (and the personal impact they had on me) in so many words.

Considered to be pioneers of the genre, The Dillinger Escape Plan helped popularize mathcore and make it its own thing. (For the uninitiated, mathcore is an offshoot of metal with technically complex rhythms and time signatures that can be hard to follow.) With equal parts aggressive ambition and the skill to back it up, the guys were able to make a name for themselves the world over. By no means would I call their music accessible in the traditional sense, but they must be doing something right to generate the kind of fervor fans have for them. Their onstage presence, intense and enduring, is just as unabashedly chaotic as their music.

Like many bands, they’ve gone through a large amount of lineup changes – the only original member still left is Ben Weinman. Their original singer, Dimitri Minakakis, quit in 2001. While some grizzled fans will firmly tell you that their 1999 release Calculating Infinity was their true artistic peak, there’s no denying the very real success the band had after Greg joined the fold.

Many people grow out of the music they grew up on. Hell, it’s happened to me – plenty of bands I was into when I was 13 and swore that I’d be loyal to forever and ever seemed to eventually lose their magic as the realities of adulthood set in. They were an influential part of my past, and I’ve accepted that that’s exactly where they’ll stay. But that was never the case for The Dillinger Escape Plan, who remained fully on my radar for all these years. Few songs encapsulate the turbulence of my adolescence the way We Are The Storm and 82588 do. The first time I heard Prancer was like a kick in the teeth I didn’t know I wanted until it happened. These dudes never disappointed me.

That being said, it sucks to think that this really could be it. Their “final” tour is set to start in mid-October, and they’ll be playing a show at Webster Hall on October 15th. Ten years after I started listening to them, this is the first (and might very well be the last) I’ll ever see them live. I’m fully expecting to go home battered, bruised, and in a feverish euphoria. Dissociation is set to drop October 14th and their newest single, “Limerent Death,” hits just as hard as I could’ve hoped for. Check it out below; if this truly is their swan song, it sounds like a damn promising way to go out.