Joseph A. Peragine – Diagnosis: Schizophrenia (Album Review)

- (Austin Weber of

This could fit comfortably within the mathcore column above, as that’s largely the focus throughout Diagnosis: Schizophrenia, but since it’s completely instrumental, and also delves into math-rock, minimalist atmospheric ambient flourishes, skin-crawling doses of dissonance, djent-inspired chaotic rhythms, as well as channeling an Animals As Leaders feeling at times, it seemed better to put it here with the instrumental metal.

Joseph A. Peragine is a new musician to me who plays 9-string guitar and wrote this whole album. But the man he has chosen to partner with for this record is a fucking legend you all will know, and it’s none other than drummer Chris Pennie (ex-Dillinger Escape Plan, ex-Coheed And Cambria) returning to play mathcore music for the first time since his departure from Dillinger Escape Plan many years ago.

I stumbled onto this album when Joseph A. Peragine shared it in a Facebook music group and I happened to be at the right place at the right time and caught the debut single before it came out, which was opener “Concentrating At 333 Beats Per Minute”. I was instantly blown away and baffled all at once, and after hearing the full album plenty of times now, still feel pretty much the same way about it — save for having committed to memory a bit more of these zany twisted tunes.

While it may be an instrumental album, Diagnosis: Schizophrenic still tells a potent tale without words, relating to the mindset and emotional swings of Joseph A. Peragine, who is a legitimate paranoid schizophrenic. I understand he’s also written a book on the experience, and as a bi-polar individual myself, I find his public owning and sharing of his own mental illness and experience with it to be a highly moving thing that adds its own value to the music beyond all it already has to offer.

And as a music fan of the opinion that Chris Pennie’s work during his time in Dillinger Escape Plan is some of the best drumming over metal music ever, getting to hear him return to somewhat similar sonic waters is a fucking jaw-dropping treat on top of the ridiculously talented guitar playing Joseph brings to the table. Don’t miss out on this one.