Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
Genre: Technical Melodic Death Metal
Released: June 23, 2014
Format Reviewed: FLAC
Feature: National Uprising – Recent Releases
By: Kris Kotlarik
In the (American) football multiverse, a player’s third season is supposed to be their big breakout into stardom and/or notoriety. Elements Of The Infinite is Allegaeon’s third release, and while this won’t crack my charts for now, it’s still a solid effort. The band’s sound has improved on several facets; there’s some significant instrumental diversity, the dual vocals are effective by this genre’s standards, and the guitar work is, well, technical. I also came away quite impressed with new drummer Brandon Park’s skills.
The album starts on a high note (once we get past the Epica-esque intro) with “Threshold Of Perception,” which never lets up once it gets going. The same can be said for “Our Cosmic Casket,” which features some of the most progressive rhythms on here. The almost 13-minute closer, “Genocide For Praise – Vals For The Vitruvian Man,” is all over the place with regards to both tempo and style and is considered a must-listen by any metric.
The only two songs that didn’t strike my fancy were “Gravimetric Time Dilation,” which sounds far too much like new-era Arch Enemy for my liking. “Biomech II” would otherwise have been among the top tracks, headlined by a highly notable bass line, if not for the “Goddamn you” growls that don’t add anything to the rest of the song.
The rest of the tracks have their share of solid moments; “Tyrants Of The Terrestrial Exodus” boasts perhaps the best example of Allegaeon’s dual guitar solos. “Dyson Sphere” has a particularly nice guttural blast following a guitar solo; “The Phylogenesis Stretch” also possesses a slight Arch Enemy vibe but is executed in much better fashion; “1.618” is a solid track that came close to cracking the top 3; and the penultimate track, “Through Ages Of Ice – Otzi’s Curse,” is a surprisingly effect (mostly) instrumental track with a weird outro that sounds like a mix of Asian/Middle Eastern wind instruments with African tribal drumming.
I think the best comparison I can connect this to would be the Mafia EP by Italian decimators Fleshgod Apocalypse, who were just beginning to explore with their symphonic components at the time following their straightforward tech-death debut, Oracles. I don’t expect to see Allegaeon touring with a live pianist and soprano singer any time soon, but they did show with this release that they are not afraid to take the traditional “all technical everything” approach to modern death metal and use some left field ideas to bolster their overall sound.
Overall: Adding in more of that creative process will most likely lead to a near-elite rating on future releases.