Honestly I don’t even know where to begin with this new ALLEGAEON album, Elements of the Infinite. Let me clarify that statement, because I don’t mean it in a bad way. On the contrary, I fucking love it from top to bottom, tip to tail, start to finish, soup to nuts…you get the idea. THIS is the album I’ve been waiting for from these guys. THIS is the album that will propel these guys into the stratosphere like a goddamn cruise missile. And that’s why this is going to be a hard one to write because it’s just turning into a damn love fest. But as you all know, I write what I feel, and I will never change in that regard.
The first thing you’ll notice is there is some serious pep in the band’s step, due to the addition of newest members Brandon Park (drums) and Michael Stancel (guitarist). In particular, the interplay between Stancel and guitarist Greg Burgess is what really sets this band apart from others in the genre. That’s why I’m starting with “Through Ages of Ice – Otzi’s Curse”. The guitars are as crushing as they are technically proficient, and I really feel the balance is perfect. Then you add Park’s crazy drum patterns and Corey Archuleta’s trip hammer bass and it’s completely nuts. Hell, Ezra Haynes doesn’t come in until well after the two-minute mark but his impact is un-fucking-deniable!
And you wanna talk about atmosphere and setting a tone? Opening track “Threshold of Perception” has just set a new standard for how to start your album off right. Some cinematic orchestration and choral voices builds the anticipation, and then everything comes together and slices the landscape like a chainsaw. And if that’s not enough prepare to have your face kicked in by “Tyrants of the Terrestrial Exodus”. Who knew metal could be brutalizing AND insanely cerebral at the same time? Oh, right. Fans of ALLEGAEON, that’s who!! You’ll also find another amazing lead break in this one.
“Dyson Sphere” definitely has one of the most creative and groovy riffs on the record and will immediately get your attention, as will “Biomech II” for its raw anger, and “1.618” for its straight-ahead stomp and unique lyrics:
“Divine proportion defines perfection, with this comes enticing shapes
Supreme equation from formation, the formula of 1.618”
Don’t ask me what Ezra’s talking about because I am too old and too dumb to know anything scientific. What I DO know is this song, like all the others definitely wore out my REPEAT button. Which brings me to my favorite song on Elements of the Infinite…”Genocide for Praise – Vals for the Vitruvian Man” Featuring cellos and acoustic guitars to get started AND finished, and some of the math-iest arrangements I’ve ever heard in my life, this is one that I am praying they play live here in Dallas on August 29. The vocals, guitars, bass, and drums simply destroy everything in their path and for 12:48 you are taken on a journey, a ride that only a band like ALLEGAEON could deliver. That really is the way to sum up the whole record, too.
With Elements of the Infinite, ALLEGAEON have knocked it out of the park, and into the grandstand of the football stadium next door. Not only is this my favorite record from them, it just might be one of my favorites of 2014.The disc is out now via Metal Blade Records, so I strongly suggest you get your copy ASAP!!
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM!!