From Colorado, U.S., once came a technical death metal band named Allegaeon. They released a highly anticipated record on Friday the 19th of april, called Apoptosis. The tech death formation was formed in 2008, and they have been on top of their game. Their previous record from 2016, Proponent for Sentience, is probably one of my favorite records. So consequently, I was hyped for this release!
Allegaeon consists out of one of the best musicians out there, so expectations are high, but I doubt that will be a problem. The reason for expectations being high is because the band has delivered nothing but quality work. With technicality and melody, brutality but yet beauty Allegaeon has enchanted me once before, and now I’m more than ready to see if Apoptosis will do the same.
Since the announcement, they have given us a little taste of what’s to come in the form of three singles. The first one being Stellar Tidal Disruption, which was released on the 31th of January. The first things I instantly noticed while listening to this song, is that they indeed evolved their sound. The deeper growls of the versatile vocalist Riley McShane, the fast and dynamic drumming of the great Brandon Park along with the relatively new amazing bassist Brandon Michael, who adds a lot of dimension. As a result, it just sounds incredible.
On the 14th of March, their second single Extremophiles (B) was released. I have to say, after I listened to it, it had been stuck in my head for a few days. So it sure is memorable and catchy in a way! The dynamics of Riley’s vocal range is very clear in this single. Aggressive deeps, beautiful cleans which are backed with multi layered melodies.
The release of their third single, Exothermic Chemical Combustion on the 16th of April was very unexpected for me. Nonetheless, it was a pleasant surprise! The video that came with it is a guitar playthrough of the extremely talented Greg Burgess and Michael Stancel. Therefore, watching these two play guitar is mesmerizing. The song itself is an example of the great lengths this band can go with their capabilities.
As a result of listening to these singles alone, I would say two keywords for this record are growth and dynamics. Of course, complex music like this cannot be expressed in only two words. It was made clear earlier that growth was indeed something they experienced while writing.
The album starts off with a bass solo, which is a great introduction to Brandon Michael, or as they call him, booboo. While being relatively new in the band, he and his style fit in perfectly. This first track is called Parthenogenesis, which is a interesting subject to say the least. Just as almost every subject Allegaeon lyrically touches. Melody, technique and groovy riffage intertwine perfectly. The instrumental track flows into the next track, Interphase Meiosis. The track may start off a little bit slower, however don’t let this decieve you. However, I feel like this song touches the older roots of the band, with some hints of change.
The next song, Extremophiles (A), somewhat reminds me a little of their song Dyson Sphere from their 2014 record Elements of the Infinite. To clarify, this is not a bad thing by any means! Melodic aspects are very clear in Extremophiles (A). In addition to that, the solo… whew.
Metaphobia is the next song I want to talk about. The seventh track on this record feels very different from the previous song. Faster, and more chord progression centered. Again, the solo guitar work is extremely well-formed.
The last track on this is the title track, Apoptosis. This is a longer song, and hits the 10 minute mark. Personally, I like longer songs if they are done correctly. Firstly, we have clean guitar and vocal work which quite quickly overflows in powerful songwriting. The beautifully written segment transforms in overdriven epicness which filled my heart. In other words, I absolutely love it! In other words, this is one of my favorites on the album.
To sum up, Apoptosis is definitely an album I recommend. And Allegaeon is a band I definitely support! I had the pleasure of meeting 3 out of the 5 guys in the band at their show at the Patronaat, Haarlem on the 3rd of February. Extremely nice guys, and now they have a new record out. But most importantly, the record is just pure madness. Yes, indeed it is not the same as their previous record. So if you were familiar with Allegaeon, but are someone that doesn’t like bands changing their sound a little, well it might not be your favorite. But hey, you can’t please everyone!
The mucisianship on Apoptosis top tier, which is no suprise really if you know who’s behind. Everyone on the album did absolutely great. In conclusion: listen to the album, buy the album and support these guys!
Release date: April 19th, 2019
Label: Metal Blade Records
- Interphase Meiosis
- Extremophiles (B)
- The Secular Age
- Exothermic Chemical Combustion
- Extremophiles (A)
- Tsunami and the Submergence
- Colors of the Currents
- Stellar Tidal Disruption