Allegaeon - Formshifter

New album by Allegaeon?! You have my attention…

I will begin this news briefing that I am not often the one to introduce new bands to people. In general, I feel like I am always the last one to show up for the party when it comes to exciting new bands and releases. Example: Allegaeon. The band’s full length, Fragments of Form and Function, was released in July of 2010, and I did not hear the album until late 2011. Even worse, I even read a review of the album before it was released, and thought “Hmmmm, this sounds like something I would like.” And yet I did nothing.

However, this time I am remedying that, and keeping on top of my releases. The four piece from Colorado’s new album, Formshifter, is slated for a May 4th release date. And woo boy am I excited! In the last 6 months the band is my 18th most listened to artist, with 83 plays making up 385 minutes of music. Fragments of Form and Function┬áis such a good album that it’s literally bad for my hearing because I keep turning the volume up. In contrast, its really good for my running because I feel so energized by the music that I tack on a couple more miles to keep running until the album ends.

The band is often described as technical melodic death metal, which I see as an apt description, but also somewhat lacking in, well, zazz. I thought Fragments of Form and Function was one of the best albums of 2010 (retrospectively, of course), due to its complex technical parts, paired with small flings of melody. I would venture to say that it is one of the most catchy complex albums of all time, and that is quite a claim.

Another major factor in my appreciation for the album, and I don’t often say this, is the lyrical content. As much as I enjoy straightforward death metal lyrics, sometimes a change of pace is nice, and Allegaeon delivers that with lyrics about science, evolution, and physics. Brilliantly executed ones, I may add. For example, this is a short sample from album closer “Accelerated Evolution:”

So if they want to pit us against survival of the fittest
To see how we will make it through
To survive with distinction
A species hell-bent on extinction
If only Darwin knew

Amidst this is all sorts of technical riffing, guitar solos, blast beats, and bass noodling. Anyway, the band has a new album coming up, from which I heard a song (on the radio, oddly enough, which never happens). I will leave my commentary off from the new track until I hear the entire album. What are your initial thoughts? What do you think the album will sound like?

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