I recently interviewed Greg (Acoustic Guitars & Guitars) of Allegaeon regarding this album. You can read that interview here.
When I heard that Allegaeon were working on a new album I was quite excited. I’ve been following the band for a number of years and have really rather enjoyed their previous releases. I was also curious to see how well new vocalist Riley Mcshane would fit in with the music. In short, he fits in very well indeed…
Kicking the album off in a rather superior fashion is “Proponent For Sentince I – The Conception”. Everything gels together in superb fashion and upon first hearing Riley’s vocals, I was instantly sold. He actually fits the music better than Erza did, but then again the music has changed a wee bit.
“All Hail Science” whilst being the shortest song on the album is easily one of the fastest songs on the album. The ‘group vocal’ style chorus of “All Hail” sounds particularly awesome with the instruments driving behind it in expert fashion. Driving Drums and guitars dominate “From Nothing” in a way that isn’t too dissimilar from the previous. A suitably fitting guitar solo slots nicely into place before the track slowly fades into nothing…
Now, “Gray Matter Mechanics – Appassonata Ex Machinea”. Opening with a rather nice classical guitar melody, the rest of the band comes in rather expert fashion and continue on where the acoustic guitars leave off. The band released a play through of the track a couple of weeks ago and it’s just awe-inspiring to watch them play it. The track shows off not only Greggs classical based training but also the superb bass playing of Corey Archuleta as well. At the 5:00 mark, the rest of the band drops out and leaves just the acoustic guitars. As such, we can hear the excellent playing of Greg for a good 3 minutes, which makes for a nice wee interlude.
“Of Mind and Matrix” opens in a similar fashion to a Fallujah track and I almost thought as though my iTunes was on shuffle and had switched to them. But no… it was this track and good lord is it incredible. Everything meshes together like the cogs in a well oiled machine and the end result is something quite special.
“Proponent For Sentience II – The Algorithm” opens with a military style march before the rest of the band comes in and slots in alongside the various strings and choral sounds rather nicely. At 2:06 the vocals come in, all be it for a brief growl before coming back in with full force at 2:34. The overall feel of this track is much slower than the previous, yet it fits in with the rest of the album rather well.
“Demons of an Intricate Design”, “Terrathaw and the Quake” and “Cognitive Computations” follow on in a suitably speedy and technical fashion. All the tracks are suitably different and feature the usual formulas of technical melodies that transport you away to some rather wonderful worlds.
Now a track that caught me by surprise was “ The Arbiters”. When I first heard the song and then read the title, I was instantly reminded of the game “Halo 2”. It’s the kind of music that would go alongside one of the major fights in the game exceptionally well. Having a slightly slower feel than the previous song, it gives it more of an overall epic feel.
“Proponent For Sentience III – The Extermination” follow on and ramps up the technicality and speed again. Having all the elements previously explored in the previous parts, it makes for a rather nice end to the “Proponent for Sentience” part of the album.
“Subdivisions” is a track I was initially a little apprehensive about. I wasn’t overly impressed with Omnium Gatherum’s cover of it so I was worried that the band would do something similar to it. But they didn’t. They kept the original things that made it good and put their own twist on it to make one of the highlights of the album. Plus Riley’s clean vocals… Oh man. They are so good!
Despite my initial concerns that the new vocalist wouldn’t be able to fit into the band, he’s more than proven he’s the perfect man for the job. As well as this, the rest of the band have further improved their songwriting and this album is one that they can and should be proud of. It’s got the blend of technical and melody just perfect. Top marks lads. Top marks.
Standout tracks: All Hail Science, Gray Matter Mechanics – Appassonata Ex Machinea, Of Mind and Matrix, The Arbiters, Subdivisions
Proponent for Sentience is released on September 23rd via Metal Blade Records.