Allegaeon are one of those bands which seem to finally be getting the attention they deserve. Having evolved from a band that was known for their lightning speed technicality to one that is able to merge both that and some truly exceptional melodies has helped grow them into an outfit that is touring across the globe. With their previous release being hailed as one of the finest technical metal albums and making its way onto many people’s top albums lists, the bar is set very high for this new release.
Opening up the album, “Parthenogenesis” is almost an answer to the people who were unsure if new bassist Brandon Michael would be able to play former bassist Corey Archuketa’s parts. The level of musicianship on this track from the bass alone is fantastic and expertly leads into the suitably ‘melo-tech’ “Interphase // Meiosis”. Everything that makes up a classic Allegaeon song is here with the flurries of notes from guitarists Greg Burgess and Michael Stancel and the musically fitting vocals from Riley Mcshane complementing each other nicely. “Extremophiles (B)” is where things truly start to shine however. Harnessing the influences from the previous release and injecting new ideas into the fold, the track is easily one of the best on the album and a prime example of the band’s ability to create incredibly memorable songs.
The album continues on from these high with the technical side never becoming too much. A prime example of this is the latter half of “The Secular Age” with the guitar solo and backing parts hitting just the right balance. “Extrophiles (A)” continues this perfect balance mentality whilst managing to have an overall slower feel than other tracks. Don’t think for one minute that it’s all slow ballads though, this song oozes technical playing out of every crevice and like the “B” variation is another cracking track. On the topic of slow, the following track, “Metaphobia”, is anything but slow. With riffing and drumming at speeds which could outpace some thrash metal bands, this is one that is sure to go down a treat in a live show.
“Colors [Colours] of the Currents” is where things take a slight change again with the suitably stellar acoustic playing of Greg and guest classical guitarist Christina Sandsengen. The piece makes for a nice change from the previous tracks and further cements Greg’s status as one of the finest guitar players in the scene at the moment. The calm is all but shattered however when penultimate track “Stellar Tidal Disruption” comes into view however. Taking a leaf from the previous tracks and mixing in some fantastic layered guitar harmonies, it is again a song which I hope they add to their live set.
Rounding out the album, title track “Apoptosis” takes everything that Allegaeon does amazingly and turns it up to 12. Having a similar vibe and style to “Genocide for Praise – Vals for the Vitruvian Man” only with the fantastic clean singing from Riley, the track has an almost anthemic quality to it with parts of being the sort of music you’d hear at a metal awards ceremony. A truly triumphant track to end on.
This album feels like yet again another step up for Allegaeon. Nothing is technical for the sake of being technical and the vocal performance from Riley is nothing short of fantastic with the clean vocals in particular adding that ingredient that had been missing from previous records. This is a perfect album from a band that is continuing to go from strength to strength and will no doubt go on to have a very successful career.
Apoptosis is released on the 19th April via Metal Blade Records