Tuesday, 26 February 2013

CD Review: Fragments Of Form And Function, by Allegaeon (2010)


The debut from Colorado's Allegaeon contains plenty to admire, but also carries some unnecessary weight. Fragment Of Form And Function features impressively well-honed melodic death metal with a strong tilt towards technical mastery. When Allegaeon tighten all the screws, the results are excellent.

The band sounds like Arsis with an extra strong dose of melody. There is plenty going on throughout the album, and every track is a well thought-out composition filled with layered harmonies, technical wizardry, lyrical solos, frantic drumming, and the laid-back but authoritative growl of Ezra Haynes. Allegaeon demonstrate a strong respect for distinct, cohesive melodies, but this never shackles the band from exploring side-streets and scenic routes, usually for the better.

The opening pair of The Cleansing and The Renewal are an admirable introduction to the band, both tracks showing off courage to play with signature changes, sharp precision, and pure joyous head-banging power. The Cleansing offers an almost out-of-control pace that threatens carnage but just manages to stay on the road, while The Renewal soars at the 2:40 mark with a classic riff that beautifully disintegrates into staccato chaos, only to gather itself into a final charge of the valiant.

The album peaks with Biomech, a superbly constructed piece of melodic technical death metal, a deliberate foundational melody allowing the band to add absorbing technical shadings at lightning speed before Ryan Glisan and Greg Burgess take off at the 3:20 mark on 50 seconds of dual guitar magic. The Vals No. 666 back-end of the track is two minutes of acoustical serenity, the calm in the middle of a stormy album.

Elsewhere, The God Particle and Atrophy Of Hippocrates provide solid depth to the album, but the band stumbles on tracks like From Seed To Throne and Point Of Disfigurement, both of which have little to add other than undistinguished sound and fury.

The Fragments Of Form And Function assemble themselves into a surprisingly enjoyable whole, Allegaeon arriving on the scene with polished skills to deliver their sophisticated sound.
   

Band:

Jordan Belfast - Drums
Ryan Glisan - Guitar
Ezra Haynes - Vocals
Greg Burgess - Guitar
Corey Archuleta - Bass


Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. The Cleansing - 9
2. The Renewal - 9
3. Across The Folded Line - 7
4. The God Particle - 8
5. Biomech - Vals No. 666 - 10
6. From Seed To Throne - 6
7. Atrophy Of Hippocrates - 8
8. Point Of Disfigurement - 6
9. A Cosmic Question... - 7
10. Accelerated Evolution - 7

Average: 7.70

Produced, Engineered and Mixed by Dave Otero.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.


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