The last I spoke of Colorado newcomers Allegaeon, I praised their first full length album, Fragments of Form and Function, as an exhilarating example of American technical melodeath, and a stunning debut for the Fort Collins quartet. In fact, I hinted at the possibility of a sophomore jinx in light of the impressive tunes I heard back then. So here we are about a year and a half later for a musical reckoning. And while I can’t say they’ve topped the first album, I wouldn’t say they’ve failed either.
The new album, Formshifter, comes from a band that has audibly matured while still remaining true to their musical vision. Now, don't go off and interpret that last statement as "this album mostly sounds like the one before, so if you liked that, you'll like this". It kind of means that, but while this new music sounds great, there's a definite difference to it all in that it's less...melodic. Yeah, I know this is melodic death metal, but one of the reasons I loved the first album was because it was even more melodic, which serves as the sweetness that counters the harshness of the rhythyms and gutteral screams; the thing that makes melodeath great. Even so, it's still squarely in the genre, so I hope I'm not throwing you off. I think it's Ezra doing less clean stuff or something, I don't know.
By the way, check out the awesome classical guitar coda on Twelve (4:12). Brilliant.
The Bottom Line: One of the best American bands in the genre, thanks largely to the talents of Greg Burgess and Ryan Glisan on the twin guitar attack. It's like In Flames moved their act to the Rockies (and got back to shredding).
Songs to Ruin Your Voice To: Twelve, Secrets of the Sequence
- Genghis is itchin' to get back to some podcastin' (and dipthongin')...