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Allegaeon – Apoptosis

by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 22 April 2019, 6:12 AM

ALLEGAEON is a Technical Death Metal from Colorado; their newest album, “Apoptosis,” is their fifth full length studio album.  I discovered ALLEGAEON when “Elements of the Infinite,” came out back in 2014.  I enjoyed that one and the two before it but I don’t consider myself a huge fan—I rarely listen to them and didn’t care for their previous album, “Proponent for Sentience,” all that much.   My problem with this band (and just about every other Technical Death Metal band) is I can only take so much “widdly wam” before I get bored.  There are exceptions to every rule, sure.  Bands like NILE, NECROPHAGIST, WOUNDS, and SEROCS are Tech Death that care about one thing that should always become before crazy left turns and guitar masturbation:  songwriting.  I don’t care how talented your band is, if I listen to your music and don’t remember much about it a few minutes later (even if I like it at the time), then I will lose interest very quickly.  That was my problem with “Proponent for Sentience”….it just had too much for too long.

So how does “Apoptosis,” fair?  Quite a bit better and definitely on the right track but I still have some issues.  The album is a little shorter than “Proponent” and the songs are a lot more focused.  Of course they are still filled to the brim with “Widdly wam” but the song writing is just tighter this time around.  Despite the constant showmanship of the band, there are many parts presented throughout the album that are actually catchy, moments I found myself going back to. However, the album isn’t perfect. The first two tracks, intro “Parthenogenesis,” and “Interphase//Meiosis,” is a two punch to the face; the two tracks compliment and go together like peanut butter and jelly.  The opening minute to “Interphase//Meiosis,” is one of the moments I spoke about earlier that stuck with me, as did the song’s ending riffs.

Unfortunately, the two songs also represent the high point of the album.  There isn’t any bad songs on here but after such an attention grabbing opening, there isn’t really anything that stacks up quite as high.  The main problem with the album, and almost every other Technical Death Metal album, is every song just straight up sounds the same.  Sure, they are all good but there is really just one song here.  For example “Extremeophiles (A)” and “Extremeophiles (B)”, are two tracks I cannot tell apart.  Clearly, they are supposed to be similar in concept but what I’m saying is that it doesn’t really matter which one you listen to.  The things you get with the songs, such as stellar musicianship and ideas, are just very paint by numbers and go through the usual motions.

Stellar Tidal Disruption,” features some standout guitar leads and melodic riffs that are all backed by fairly intense drums.  Despite the length of over six minutes, I found this one stood out more from the other tracks.    The guitars are obviously well played but very few riffs or passages really wowed me like the leads did.  The exception is Brandon Michael…his bass was actually a constantly inspiring to hear and, honestly, he carries this album.

But even though it is peppered with greatness throughout, there is no way I could ever listen to this album all the way through…I enjoyed it in small doses of two or three tracks at a time.  Personally, I would probably just give the album a six; it is above average but just doesn’t do it for me.   However as a reviewer, I try to listen through the eyes (or ears I suppose) of people who do like this band or this style a lot more than myself.  So, with that being said, I’m giving this a higher rating than I would like because, quite simply, if you are a fan of this band or big on Tech Death, this album will probably be the best thing you have heard in a long time…and will probably feel a seven is still too low.  Their top level musicianship is presented across the whole album but, personally, I think they have room to grow as song writers.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Parthenogenesis
2. Interphase_Meiosis
3. Extremophiles (B)
4. The Secular Age
5. Exothermic Chemical Combustion
6. Extremophiles (A)
7. Metaphobia
8. Tsunami and Submergence
9. Colors of the Currents
10. Stellar Tidal Disruption
11. Apoptosis
Greg Burgess – Guitars
Brandon Park – Drums
Michael Stancel – guitars
Riley McShane – Vocals
Brandom Michael – Bass
Record Label: Metal Blade Records


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