Metal Blade has for a long time been one of the bastions of extreme metal, boasting some of the biggest names in all things brutal and parent troubling. Because of this Allegaeon are somewhat of a hidden gem, an excellent and very unique band that don’t get the recognition they deserve when surrounded by the who’s who of extreme.
“Elements of the Infinite” continues on the path set by previous album “Fragments of Form and Function” which also seemed to be released with little fanfare. With what one can only guess is an extremely broad range of influences, Allegaeon seem to combine technical death metal with elements of power metal, a bit like Decrepit Birth mashed with Blind Guardian.
On paper it’s an idea that looks utterly abhorrent and unworkable, but it actually gels very well. There’s plenty of complex musicianship going on to keep the tech-heads entertained but it never gets overwhelming as there are large open spaces to breathe and everything seems to have it’s place. There’s no technicality for technicalities sake here.
Some of the more straight forward tracks such as ‘Dyson Sphere’ (which I’ve since found out isn’t about a vacuum cleaner) are fairly simple and head noddingly fun. Other tracks such as ‘Through Ages of Ice – Otzi’s Curse’ actually seem to tell a story with the music rather than the lyrics, the lead guitar acting more like a second vocal.
Whilst “Elements of the Infinite” does lack sometimes in the big hooks department or that one huge memorable riff, there’s still something for everyone here. Technical death metal fans will enjoy the sheer musicality and Scrabble winning song titles, whilst those who find technical bands too suffocating will be more appreciative of the consistently interesting narrative.
This is a strong album from a band with a lot of promise who are close to hitting their target.
Cracking good artwork too!