Expectations were high for this album. That tends to happen when a band takes a few years of touring and changing members around between releases, so in a sense, the chips were somewhat stacked against DEP before this record even hit the stores. Still, there was always hope that they would blow a few minds… the growth apparent over the course of their discography made it almost impossible to guess what Ire Works might sound like. Would it be the calculated chaos of Calculating Infinity? The melodic mathcore of Miss Machine? The experimental ennui of Irony is a Dead Scene? I have good news: It’s all of those things.
Ire Works starts off with a bang on “Fix Your Face” and continues the expected brutality with “Lurch,” but by the time you get to the third track “Black Bubblegum” something is amiss… in a good way. Dillinger sounds focused in a way they never have before. Sure, they’ve always been good at math, but on Ire Works they’re allowing themselves the room to be song-writers first and headache inducers second. This is not a bad thing. Listen to the instrumental (!) tracks “When Acting as a Particle” and “When Acting as a Wave” to see just how far these boys have come, and why they’ve grown exponentially in popularity. Yes, this is the same DEP that melted faces off with 43% burnt, but they’ve surpassed themselves yet again.
Witness the beautiful and haunting “Dead as History.” The piano is pushed to the forefront and the melody is allowed to come out and play. Of course immediately following that is the all-out barrage of “Horse Hunter,” which melts into a jazz-influenced breakdown and then goes all out thrash.
Those fans who want a return to the pure chaos of the old days might be disappointed, but I have a hard time believing that. This record is simply amazing. I almost took a star off because it’s so short, but after listening to it, I didn’t feel as though I was left wanting. The boys put together an album that feels like a complete journey, and for that fact alone, this album is worth checking out even for those unfamiliar with the assault that is the Dillinger Escape Plan. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.