Fragments of Form and Function

Upon initial glances, Colorado’s Allegaeon appear to be one of Metal Blade’s token second tier signings (Epicurean, The Crimson Armada, Malefice, Aeternam) that won’t really register amid the label’s heavyweights and big sellers (Job For A Cowboy, As I Lay Dying, Cannibal Corpse, Hate Eternal, Whitechapel, Unearth, etc). However, with repeated listens, these talented newcomers seem to have a very firm grasp on modern melodic death metal that does not veer into Sonic Syndicate styled sugary pop metal.

From the shredding opener “The Cleansing”, it’s apparent that Allegaeon is a somewhat viable replacement for Arsis, seeing that they jumped the shark (in my humble opinion): Busy, frenetic, technical and melodic death metal full of impressive shreddage and fury. The break at 2:40 truly signals the promise of something very special brewing, and the rest of the album does not disappoint.

All five members can handle their instruments, notably guitarist Greg Burgess who is a classically trained with a degree from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music―he also spent five years as the guitar instructor at the Music Institute of Lexington―and it all shows in the many twistingly taught but melodic riffs and solos that fill each track.

All 10 tracks are armed with Dave Otero’s (Vale of Pnath, Martriden, Cephalic Carnage) expectedly tight production and some fierce drumming from Jordan Belfast (apparently a regularly featured drummer in Sick Drummer Magazine). Then there’s just a ridiculous amount of hooks and tight At the Gates styled blazing riffage―just check out the “The Renewal”―that never veers into Hot Topic core or in shallow imitation like some of their US Peers. In fact, the many solos and melodic injections are far from self-indulgent or overdone/noodly, keeping this far from a typical US based swede-core band, and much more in line with their classic Swedish brethren.

There are so many finger numbing moments of hi-octane metal shredding it’s hard to list them all. But certainly the aforementioned opener, 3:20 and on of “Biomech – Vals No. 666”, (with a closing acoustic section that allows Burgess to show off a bit), savage start to the album’s most brutal track, “From Seed to Throne”, and the entirety of 8-minute closing standout “Accelerated Evolution” are all certainly worthy of extra attention. While they are serviceable, the only really generic element are the standard melodeath vocals (mid-range scream, some growly lows).

I’d put these guy in the same category as other up and coming new acts like A Hill to Die Upon, Cormorant, Enfold Darkness, and the aforementioned Vale of Pnath (who share some traits with Allegaeon): Overlooked, non-trendy, non-core, quality American metal of shred-tastic proportions that should satiate listeners of melodic death metal until The Absence’s Enemy Unbound drops.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
August 27th, 2010


  1. Commented by: Staylow

    I agree 100%, great review. I’ve been listening to this one a bit the past few weeks. Excellent album. Also, good call on the Arsis comparison, they were the first thing that came to mind when I heard this.

  2. Commented by: xbenx

    I need to get this, quality review chief.

  3. Commented by: audioboxers

    I love these guys. They are from my area, they put on an amazing show.

  4. Commented by: faust666

    One of my favorite albums this year. Absolutely fantastic stuff!! Great review except for that bit about the vocals.. I thought the growling was done very well and complemented the outstanding music and song structures. With so many bands, labeling growled out vocals as generic is a bit dicey.

  5. Commented by: Courtney

    I have listened to this album more than any other this year. I HIGHLY enjoy it in every facet. Maybe the vocals don’t range highly out of the ordinary but I think they’re fantastic and can’t imagine the album any other way. All in all this was a damn good review!

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