@planetmosh reviews Elements of the Infinite by .@allegaeon on .@metalblade
Death metal has a very particular sound; bands like At The Gates, Carcass etc. have perfected the original genre. This had been upgraded by the next generation using complex solos, breakdowns and WAY too fluff. I like Allegaeon, a lot. They are a band that have incorporated the extreme aggression and guttural vocals of classic death metal with technical solos that are a throwback to 90’s Swedish metal. They are also a growing band with something to prove and that hurts them.
That said, the third release by Colorado group will be a joy to fans of fast paced, smart death metal. Each song on the CD are designed to give a clear statement that the band has arrived and is their attempt to rank up there with the best of the genre. Each band member is on top form with standout performances from the core song writer, Greg Burgess. Outside of the music itself, it seems that the injection of new blood into the band have given a new sense of purpose and direction to Allegaeon.
The new drummer (Brandon Park) and their new second guitarist (Michael Stancel) are both a nice fit and masters of their craft. The vocals are excellent and visceral throughout. Ezra Haynes handles the obscure time changes of the tracks like a champ. No-one seems to show any sign of struggle while playing this challenging music. Haynes can become one of the best in the metal genre.
The problem with this album is that they get distracted and move too far away from the core death metal sound. For example, I dislike the choral backing vocals on “Tyrants of the Terrestrial Exodus” and the random Eastern effects and the end of “Through Ages of Ice – Otzi’s Curse”. This kind of stuff is too black metal for me and really just sounds cheesy. They don’t need it. There are bands that do badly need this studio padding but the Colorado lads are not among them.
Allegaeon also fall into the annoying trappings of the tech death sound: Über technical guitar intro that leads into a crunchy pre-verse breakdown. I hate this when it is overused; and sadly Elements of the Infinite goes to this well very too often. Some of the mid-points of the album’s songs are very samey, if thankfully short. “The Phylogensis Stretch” springs to mind as the perfect example.
The video for the single of this release “1.618” is very apt. I have no doubt that an attempt was made to appeal to everyone and it shows on album.
“1.618” is a nice song. It is very metalcore and the most “commercial” song of the album. I really enjoyed it as the departure track from straight tech death metal. The coral vocals work here due to the video mocking the “black metal” practice of uses them. Very Meta!
However, there is so much here that overshadows these minor issues. The next album needs to pick a direction and stuck to it. The album is great despite this misguided venture.
I hope that we get a stripped down version of Allegaeon; more pure death metal and less techy glitter. Technically flushes should be used sparsely and not as the core of the song. They had something to prove on this album; they did that. It is worth picking up.
Elements of the Infinite is out now via Metal Blade Records
1. Threshold of Perception
2. Tyrants of the Terrestrial Exodus
3. Dyson Sphere
4. The Phylogenesis Stretch
6. Gravimetric Time Dilation
7. Our Cosmic Casket
8. Biomech II
9. Through Ages of Ice – Otzi’s Curse
10. Genocide for Praise – Vals for the Vitruvian Man
Ezra Haynes – Vocals
Greg Burgess – Guitar
Mike Stancel – Guitar
Corey Archuleta – Bass
Brandon Park – Drums