Album Review: ALLEGAEON – Elements Of The Infinite

by I.O. Kirkwood on June 21, 2014

Cover

ALLEGAEON‘s new Album Elements Of The Infinite is a complex, orchestral series of arrangements. There is a mathematical precision that could be viewed as cold by some, but the passion of the mad scientist lurks beneath the skin of each song.  You know shit’s going to get existentially technical when you see track titles like “Dyson Sphere,” “Phylogenesis Stretch,” and “Gravimetric Time Dilation.”  Science and aliens are on the syllabus, my friends, with a tertiary module on Gothic choirs.

This album appeals to my frontal lobe on many levels. The drums lay down the mathematical precision of the Golden Mean, the bass gives a groovy spaciousness to the bottom, and the vocals add a layer of creepy curiosity that pokes at things with self-made electrical prods to see if the nerves still work after death. What catapults the album into a fourth dimension is the skin-tingling, melodic guitar riffs, that spark off the bass’ groove, and the amazing solo work.

Photo credit: Matthew Zinke

Photo credit: Matthew Zinke

“Threshold of Perception” sets up a huge expectation for the album with its Gothic atmosphere and amazing acoustic guitar intro. This is head-banging fare as the drums drive through the song without sacrificing the complexity of the arrangement.

“Dyson Sphere” showcases the grooviest guitar riff. Even the timbre of the guitar is top notch with its departure from the heavier chug of previous work. Don’t worry, meatiness was not sacrificed. If anything, it appears that the fires of creativity have been put to intelligent use showcasing just how tight Allegaeon’s lineup change is.

“Biomech II” is the angriest of the songs. It starts off with goddamn you/goddamn you and bludgeons you with its rage. “Wake up you, fuckers!” is probably the colloquial translation. The track is thicker and more brutal than its name sake from Fragments Of Form And Function.

“Genocide for Praise,” the final track, finishes up where “Threshold” began and satisfies the expectations of the initial track both musically and mathematically. A cello and acoustic guitar intro counterpoints into a brutal song that delivers slaying percussion, vocals, and guitars. This is my favorite song on the album because of its beautiful, medieval –flavored composition.  At thirteen minutes and some change long, this track is worth your full attention the WHOLE. WAY. THROUGH.

Everything in between these four songs is a solid contributor to the work as a whole with interesting minor scale progressions, fascinating time changes, and wild bass interludes. The lyrics will appeal to conspiracy theorists, quantum physics buffs, and Cosmos fans to name a few of the scientifically enlightened denizens of the metal world. I could mention something excellent about each track because the work is not only technical but melodic without one metal head-banging hair out of place. However, I’m going to leave you with a few surprises to explore.

With the lineup changes, Allegaeon hasn’t lost their edge. If anything, the addition of Brandon Park (drums) and Michael Stancel (guitarist) seem to have whetted the stone and sharpened the blade for existing members Ezra Haynes (vocalist), Corey Archuleta (bassist) and Greg Burgess (guitarist-classically trained of course). The production is top notch thanks to Dave Otero at Flatline Audio (CO). The music is still death-dark and blood-brutal, but now there is an ethereal element. Instead of digging around in the ashes and mud of creation, sonic eyes have turned to the heavens for explanations.

Elements of the Infinite Track Listing:

  1. Threshold of Perception
  2. Tyrants of the Terrestrial Exodus
  3. Dyson Sphere
  4. The Phylogenesis Stretch
  5. 1.618
  6. Gravimetric Time Dilation
  7. Our Cosmic Casket
  8. Biomech II – wall of chaos like a sandstorm against the ear
  9. Through the Ages – Otzi’s Curse
  10. Genocide for Praise  – Vals for the Vitruvian Man

The album is set to drop on June 24th courtesy of Metal Blade Records. Rate the album and tell us what you think in the comments.

Rating:  4.75/5

ioI.O. Kirkwood is a Metal Descent contributor. You can check out her personal blog at http://iokirkwood.com.

 

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