Review : ALLEGAEON – "Fragments of Form and Function"

AllegaeonFragments of Form and Function
Release Date: 2010Jul20 (US)
Label: Metal Blade
Rating: 4.5/5

Pronounced ‘uh-lee-juhn’, the members of Allegaeon sound as if they actually are “a legion”, with their densely-packed musical phalanx. However, this Colorado quintet does more than march blindly forward amidst likeminded souls; their attack is much more elegant, but no less vicious. This extreme melodic metal focuses on cohesiveness between their individual technical abilities which, like Colin Marks’ cover illustration, becomes intricate and well-defined art.

I keep drawing Nevermore comparisons, mostly in terms of thrashy underpinnings, stellar clean guitar work, and examination of oneself as well as the surrounding world. An example from “A Cosmic Question” asks What defines reality? / What defines a soul? / Where is the line of fathom / And how much truth do we know?” They do not share Warrel Dane’s penchant for theatrical nature, nor does lyricist/vocalist Ezra Haynes employ histrionics. Rather, his delivery is closer to Arsis‘ James Malone (speaking of introspective melodrama), though less blackened.

“Biomech – Vals No. 666” legitimizes everything this band stands for: memorable riffs, a catchy chorus, an amazing dueling lead guitar midsection, and an acoustic classical outro. It is also the first of two tracks that hint toward albums by Devin Townsend (Ocean Machine: Biomech and Accelerated Evolution), another artist that prides himself on similar musical principles. At 7-8 minues each, these two tracks are also the longest on the album.

Expect Fragments of Form and Function on many Best of 2010 lists, including mine. With this level of topnotch songwriting, tight performances, and strong label push, Allegaeon should propagate. A debut this impressive may set the bar rather high for their second full-length, but groups like Death, Carcass, or any of the aforementioned bands persistently advanced through their careers. We should be so fortunate to witness another with such promise.

FCC OK
Try: 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10

01. The Cleansing
02. The Renewal
03. Across The Folded Line
04. The God Particle
05. Biomech – Vals No. 666
06. From Seed To Throne
07. Atrophy Of Hippocrates
08. Point Of Disfigurement
09. A Cosmic Question
10. Accelerated Evolution

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