by Pete Long
In 2012 Allegaeon released Formshifter, their second album, and it was a thing of no little beauty. Coming out of Colorado, Allegaeon displayed an impressive talent both in terms of technical virtuosity and riff writing and, as a result, produced one of the freshest sounding melodic death metal albums heard in some time. It was as if Dark Tranquillity and Children of Bodom had both gone back to their peak, then had a slightly less-talented love child.
Since then however, there’s been some changes, with a new drummer and guitarist arriving for latest album Elements of the Infinite in the shape of Brandon Park and Michael Stancel. That’s just the beginning of the marked difference between Allegaeon’s releases. Vocalist Ezra Hynes has talked about this being the most aggressive Allegaeon album yet, and he’s not wrong. Once the pleasantly bombastic intro ends – think Hollenthon or Ex Deo – ‘Threshold of Perception’ is a very straight up death metal romp with only passing melodic touches. Largely gone are the Gothenburg sensibilities, and the end result feels a little uninspired. It’s why much of Elements of The Infinite struggles to stick in the memory.
An equal part does though, and what does is a reminder of just how talented Allegaeon are with their instruments. It’s possibly a shame they didn’t use the synths more with ‘Dyson Sphere’ beating modern-era Dark Tranquillity at their own game. ‘Gravimetric Time Dilation’ shows what they are capable of with their new sound, mixing of chaotic metal and haunting counter-melodies. ‘1.618’ throws in a coruscating Gothenburg lead that lights the song up while ‘The Phylogenesis Stretch’ blends all of the aforementioned elements together for a real highlight.
It’s probably not coincidence that the strongest parts of the album are mostly those that sound like old Allegaeon. It’s not that the band did anything much wrong at any part; it’s merely that they just didn’t do anything that right either. Elements of The Infinite is a decent listen when it’s on but once it’s over, there’s not much incentive to play it again.
Sounds Like: Generic technical death metal with a few frills
Standout Tracks: The Phylogenesis Stretch, 1.618, Gravimetric Time Dilation