Saturday, October 16, 2010

Allegaeon - Fragments of Form and Function

One of the biggest trends hitting the world of heavy music today is the rise of tech death bands. These are usually younger groups that play death metal but put more of an emphasis on the technicality of their playing abilities rather than simply trying to be the most brutal or heaviest band out there. With these bands, you are always going to hear an increasing number of guitar solos that sometimes seem to defy the world of physics in their intricacies and blazingly fast drums that batter the listener with more blast beats than the average drummer can even fathom. One of the newest bands to bring their version of technical death metal to the masses is Allegaeon from Colorado.  Their newest album entitled Fragments of Form and Function is a searing display of the beauty that tech death can deliver. This is their first full length album and it is a great way to start off their career.  According to the Encyclopaedia Metallum they play melodic tech death, which is a great way to describe their particular adaptation of death metal.  They have all the technical aspects that bands such as Necrophagist or Anata have but they don’t get bogged down with trying to just noodle all over the fret board. They are able to demonstrate their prowess as musicians while also writing great songs that never bore the listener. The album kicks off with “The Cleansing” which has an almost symphonic feeling to it that rushes the listener with high-speed and increasingly technical riffs. The song progresses from that almost symphonic beginning to the brutal beat down that us metalheads are custom to hearing.  The blast beats arrive and drive this song into a dark alleyway that would scare even the most hardcore MMA fighter. The vocals continue this beating with a typical melodeath delivery that fits in perfectly with their sound.  A gentle (in comparison to the rest of the track) bridge breaks the gap to the solos that are simply mind blowing.  It is not something easily described as they are uber-technical without sounding dry and stale. They continue to drive the song while showing off their extreme technicality. There does not seem to be a bad track on this entire release however some of the standouts are “Across the Folded Line,” “From Seed to Throne,” and “The God Particle.”  These songs demonstrate the band’s abilities as songwriters in addition to showing off their increasingly amazing guitar work.  This has to be one of the better releases of the year and no one seems to be talking about the.  This is indeed a must have album for anyone that listens to death metal in all its varied subgenres.

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