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Allegaeon - Damnum Award winner

by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 17 January 2022, 2:49 PM

It’s common to see USA as the country with a long tradition in Death Metal, because it’s where the genre was born in the 80’s (it’s obvious that Germany, UK and Switzerland gave their contributions as well). And some North American bands are still trying to expand the limits to find a personal form of making music. And the Colorado based quintet ALLAGAEON is one of them, as “Damnum” is here to state. In a few words, they could be defined as a Melodic/Technical Death Metal band, but such words don’t show the whole picture at all. They combine the usual approach of the genre with influences from melodic Black Metal in some parts, and some Modern Metal elements (some touches of Groove Metal and Metalcore can he dear, especially on the moments when clean vocals appear).  So their musical works is conceived to be a set of fine contrasts, but it’s full of energy and a very particular approach on the genre. And it’s very good. The sonority of the album was conceived to bind together the brutality of Death Metal with a cleaner sound that allows their ideas to be expressed in a way that everyone can understand. And they reached this aim, along with a very good choice for the instrumental tunes.

Brutal and oppressive, but showing a very good musical taste, “Damnum” it’s an album so hard to be understood. But for a first ride on it, the best songs are “Bastards of the Earth” (a brutal song with very good technical work and fine contrasts between grunts, screams and clean vocals parts, and the guitars are showing a work plenty with different influences), “Of Beasts and Worms” (the melancholic introduction shows the modern influences told above, but beware, because it becomes a Hell of weighty combined with melodies, sustained by a brutal work from bass guitar and drums), “Into Embers” (a fast song full of Death Metal adrenaline, and what great work from the guitars), “To Carry My Grief Through Torpor and Silence” (a bitter song with focus on the weight, showing a slower approach on the rhythms, with charming guitar solos), “Called Home” (a different song, with more use of clean vocals than grunts, what shows how they’re creative), and the both parts of “The Dopamine Void” (the first part with a deeper and melancholic basis, where vocals and clean chords plays a great whole, but with charming arrangements on bass guitar; and the second with a massive and brutal technical work, where the drums shows a very good technical and heavy work, and even some Modern Metal parts can be heard). But some with have to experience the album more times to get used to what they musically do to understand what the band stands for.

For now, all that’s left to say is that ALLEGAEON is really great, and maybe “Damnum” can open many doors for the quintet.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

1. Bastards of the Earth
2. Of Beasts and Worms
3. Into Embers
4. To Carry My Grief Through Torpor and Silence
5. Vermin
6. Called Home
7. Blight
8. The Dopamine Void, Pt. I
9. The Dopamine Void, Pt. II
10. Saturnine
11. In Mourning
12. Only Loss
Riley McShane - Vocals
Greg Burgess - Guitars
Michael Stancel - Guitars
Brandon Michael - Bass
Jeff Saltzman - Drums
Record Label: Metal Blade Records


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