Allegaeon - Apoptosis - (9/10)
Published on April 22, 2019
The new album from Allegaeon just dropped and it’s an absolute beast. Following their 2016 album “Proponent for Sentience”, “Apoptosis” marks the band’s fifth full-length release and sees them moving further into technical and experimental grounds but still staying true to their already well defined sound. For any fan of technical death this should be a real treat. And it doesn’t take long to know that once it starts running. With a two minute intro, they showcase everything that this album is about, going through guitar riff savagery, speedy leads, stand-out bass lines, crazy drums a dash of acoustic guitar. You don’t have a chance to get bored because they pour all their aces on you from the very beginning and then keep up that standard all the way to the end of the record.
Allegaeon’s style should be easier to get into than most bands in this genre. If you’ve heard them before, you know that they do a great job at combining technical and melodic elements to make their songs really appealing. And in this new release, they have refined their craft even further so that it is more tight and intense while maintaining that same groove and melody shining through. The blistering speed in the pedals is certainly an element that will draw a lot of attention but the guitars don’t fall behind, churning riff after riff of utter madness. The pace of the music is incredibly dynamic and oftentimes invites you to bang your head until it pops off. But there is also a lot of intricate wizardry happening beneath the flashy appearance with progressive twists seeping in from time to time and an overall affinity for filling all the empty spaces with well thought details to keep a sense of continuity throughout the song. The guitar leads also pump up the energy with ridiculous speed and shamelessly steal the spotlight with no restraint. And it really gets nasty is when the bass takes the fore-front and when the guttural vocals start slaying through your ears.
“Apoptosis” is also the subject of some killer production work that keeps it sounding sharp, clean and very full. Sometimes it actually builds up to what can be called an “epic wall of sound”, courtesy of soaring lead melodies and machine gun style riffing and drums that don’t let a fraction of a second slip by without being shattered by the deluge of overdriven grinding. The entire mix simply drips badassity and creates an explosive personality for the album that cannot be contained in any known rules of decency. It is preposterous (in all the good ways).
But the only thing that bothers me is the same thing that was wrong with their previous record. When you just stack lunacy upon lunacy upon more lunacy, it gets a bit oversaturated to the point where you can’t really taste it as well. They just pump song after song with this “In Your Face” recipe and it tends to get a bit repetitive, not in creativity cos’ that is way over the top, but in the vibe of the record. It says the same thing from beginning to end. However, this issue is slightly addressed with a few moments that break the pattern like a few very surprising and striking insertions of clean vocals. They also unplug the death metal monsters and switch to acoustic in “Colors of the Currents” and the atmospheric intro for “Tsunami and Submergence” is one of the most unexpected things. These are minor details thrown into the colossus of aggression but they make a big difference and actually tune down the redundancy of the record from being a big issue to just a minor glitch. Apoptosis is a must for any fan of technical death metal and also an album that might attract new people to the genre thanks to its strong melodic and groovy side. Horns up for Allegaeon! You got a seriously sick banger on your hands.