Calculating Infinity is the standard by which all DEP records are held. I prefer Miss Machine but what do I know. After the commercial success and praise of Ire Works, DEP parted ways with their label and decided to release Option Paralysis on their own. Also, to the fold is a new drummer and a new guitarist. To be honest Ire Works seems to have filler moments that didn’t help make it a great record.
Option Paralysis is the real deal. Billy Rymer (DEP’s new drummer) is the real deal. This might be the closest DIllinger has come to matching the furry that was Calculating Infinity but still keeping the progression that they had on Miss Machine and Ire Works. The album’s opening track Farewell, Mona Lisa is a good snapshot of what you’re about experience. The songs kicks in standard DEP style, straight and uncontrollable chaos. But halfway through the track they bring it down. And the album moves that way, between the bring of completely falling apart and the most melodic chaos you’ve ever heard. Billy Rymer’s drumming is top notch. His grooves might not be as tight as Gil Sharone’s but he can match Chris Pennie any day. The album’s less chaotic moments are more similar to those on Miss Machine then Ire Works but they drumming and guitar work seems far more technical and intricate.
Widower comes almost right in the middle of the album and it’s the most interesting song DEP has ever done and I might even go as far to say their best song yet. The album starts with piano and Greg Puciato singing. A very non-Dillinger sound song. It reminds of Mouth of Ghost from Ire Works only Widower is so much more. It’s more melodic, more technical and just a better song. It’s DEP out of the box and yet not unexpected. And then 4 minutes into the song all hell breaks lose and whatever control was being held onto is lost and DEP explodes. The song is one big crescendo into a jazzy ending back into the hook of the song. The song moves in so many different directions and leaves you feeling so satisfied after hearing it, that you can’t help but wonder why this wasn’t the closing song on the record and what is left for you to hear.
Dilling has taken a lot of risks and chances with Option Paralysis and all of them pay off. The album is classic DEP with a twist of the experimental, which they do nicely. There is no band that even comes close to being a good as Dillinger Escape Plan.