'Elements Of The Infinite'
(Metal Blade Records)
'Elements Of The Infinite' is the third full length from Colorado's technical melodic death Metal quintet Allegaeon and keeps true to what was laid down on 2010s 'Fragments Of Form And Function' and 2012s 'Formshifter' whilst taking their sound forward and exploring some new musical territory as a result of their line-up change, with the addition of Brandon Park as their new permanent drummer and guitarist Michael Stancel replacing Ryan Glisan.
'Elements Of The Infinite' continues with themes of space and science with all the lyrics penned by vocalist Ezra Haynes.
I thought 2012s 'Formshifter' was a good release when it came out but 'Elements Of The Infinite' has so much more to offer, starting with the orchestrated elements composed by the band's classically trained guitarist Greg Burgess along with Joe Ferris (monumentalaudio.net) which when implemented adds huge amounts of depth to the sound. There also seems to be a greater technical edge and yet it flows so much better than its predecessor, at times taking on a very sexy underlying groove to the sound.
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The level of musicianship throughout is very high, to the point of being pretty flawless and I love the vocals from Ezra Haynes, harsh and vitriolic and at times descending to an impressively deep growl and setting a strong contrast between the symphonic and technical elements helping to make everything well balanced.
The album consists of ten tracks encompassing almost an hour and although I think the album as a whole is a great listen with superb virtuoso guitar work across all the tracks, there are a few standouts for me, beginning with opening track, which knocked me sideways with amazement and delight, 'Threshold Of Perception', with an acoustic opener that builds into an epic intro, expanding out into a stunning blend of symphonic elements and technical riffs and an initial introduction to vocals so expansive and broad ranging you would swear there were two vocalists. 'Our Cosmic Casket' just has a wonderfully ominous quality to it.
'Through Ages Of Ice – Otzi's Curse' is dark, almost blackened, as well as technical, with exotic elements, superb drum work which really comes to the fore on this track and culminating in some great tribal style drumming to the close.
Also making a big impact with me, the final and longest track 'Genocide For Praise – Vals For The Vitruvian Man' at almost thirteen minutes long and across this track all that they implement, the technical, the melodic, the acoustic and symphonic elements, vocals and drums, all are at their best here and the construction is cleverly crafted making it a fascinating audio journey that you want never to end, a superb final track.
'Elements Of The Infinite' was recorded, mixed and mastered by Dave Otero at Flatline Audio in Colorado (Cattle Decapitation, Cephalic Carnage, Vale Of Pnath).
It's certainly the best from Allegaeon so far. Anyone who enjoys a technical edge to their death Metal should love this.