Allegaeon – Apoptosis (Metal Blade Records)

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So to start this review I decided it would be best to put down the definition of apoptosis for those that do not know what it means.

Apoptosis: The death of cells which occurs as a normal and controlled part of an organism’s growth or development.

Now this doesn’t really have anything to do with the album I just though it would be a fun way to start and expanding your personal vocabulary is never a bad thing.

So on Allegaeon’s fifth major studio album I expected to be blasted almost right away when I did my first listen through and I was quite pleased to say I was gently eased into the album with the instrumental Parthenogenesis which gathers speed and complexity as it goes before being finaly blasted by the second song Interphase//Meiosis. It is also this song in which the new bass player is truly heard and helps bring a more rounded sound to the band’s line-up.

There was a problem with listening to the album and the subsequent listens I’ve done with it. For a little more than the first half of the album I was getting listener fatigue as the speed and technicality is almost too much. Even some of the earlier songs, such as The Secular Age, of the album seem to feel this as the sound in parts gets muddy and not quite as clear. This is not to say the songs are bad it’s just almost too much and it is in your face throughout the first part.

But then something happened when the seventh track of the album played. In the song Metaphobia it starts with a building force of speed and brutality then halfway through the whole feel of the song changes which is the first I’ve noticed for the band. This is due to Greg Burgess’ love of classical composition and its influence, and it is at this point the whole album just completely changed as it seemed to become a much more tighter and focused effort. Even the next song Tsunami and Submergence embraced this as singer Riley McShane’s singing changed to include more clean vocals as a leading part of a song instead of a short break. Colors of the Current the classical influence is on full display as the song is just two classical guitars playing and nothing else. This leads into Stellar Tidal Disruption which continues on the classical feel as the composition of the song just feels different from the rest of the album. Which leads into the closing of the album with Apoptosis in which all the changes we heard all throughout the album is on full display in the song and makes the listener see the album in a whole different light as well as the band, as it seems the band has decided to embrace a more progressive structure to their music (or at least I’m hoping it does) as it shows a massive musical growth that was not there in previous albums. Jason Bonton

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