Allegaeon – Formshifter

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The Shape Of Things To Come

Colorado’s Allegaeon (pronounced a-LEE-gen) is an example of all that is good about death metal. Casual listeners may dismiss the incomprehensible screaming and fast-as-can-be blast beats as generic without seeing the talent that lays within. The genre actually encompasses some of the most accomplished musicians in the world. With only their second full-length album, Formshifter, Allegaeon can be counted among death metal’s finest representatives.

Formshifter begins with a lovely light intro to “Behold (God I Am)”,  but the album artwork alone will tell you that won’t last more than a minute. Under the speed and volume, the smoothness of the guitar work in both acoustic and heavy forms is outstanding. In “Taressos: The Hidden Xenocryst” the arpeggio is so clean it sounds like a keyboard. That skill is featured throughout Formshifter; perhaps the band warrant the nickname “Arpeggaeon.”

Ryan Glisan and Greg Burgess’ guitars don’t hog the spotlight. Bassist Cory Archuleta shows off his fretwork at unexpected moments, such as the intro to “A Path Disclosed.” Drummer Jordan Belfast has the good sense to know when to pull back and let vocalist Ezra Haynes say what he needs to say. His subject matter and lyrics also separate Allegaeon from their peers; fragments of poetry and social awareness are decipherable among the screams. One wonders if he would get his point across better if he sang, but his enunciation is as succinct as he can make it for this style of music. Hard work and forethought are evident throughout Formshifter, and that ethos will ensure Allegaeon stick around for a long time.

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By Chad Gorn Posted in High Fidelity, Reviews



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