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Allegaeon – Proponent for Sentience

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Last Updated on 08:07 PM by Giorgos Tsekas

Genre: Technical/Melodic Death
Country: U.S.A.
Label: Metal Blade Records
Year: 2016

Tech and melodic death are both peculiar sub-genres despite the multitude of bands that chose to play either of them. My reasoning behind this claim is simple. Both share a common feature, a thin line that determines when tech death becomes too technical (and therefore “arrogant” and tedious), while when that line is crossed in melodic death we no longer talk about a metal sub-genre, we are talking about chamber music that has a few brutal elements here and there or if we don’t want to be polite we can say that we are talking about weeper that has nothing to do with metal.

One can ask why this introduction (I usually write about the band’s history etc). Simply because Allegaeon combine elements from both sub-genres in their new album. So if you have two peculiar sub-genres their combination will be even more “difficult” and “special” to achieve. Truth be told “Proponent for Sentience” is not an easy album to listen to. It’s a complex release, full of sounds that one needs to pay attention to in order to appreciate it.

No one can complain about their tech death parts. Fast and ferocious rhythms, relentless drums and brutal (but polished in a good way) vocals with the necessary guitar solos that manage to enrich the songs in a great way.

Unfortunately, the melodic part is not as good as the tech part of the album. While their new singer is a really good death growler, his clean parts didn’t satisfy me. Don’t get me wrong, his clean voice is good but I feel like the clean parts of “Proponent for Sentience III – The Extermination” (both music and vocals) are out of place compared to the rest of the song. Reminds me of the clean parts in Amorphis’ “Elegy”, something that I don’t really like. Apart from that though, I have to admit that their melodic parts are not bad.

The album ends with a cover, “Subdivisions” of Rush, a song that shows us some more of Riley McShane’s clean vocals. Nice cover in harder motifs compared to the original (something expected from a death metal band after all) but I would like to listen to it with brutal vocals just for the heck of it.

“Proponent for Sentience” is a good album and despite any complaints I might have about its clean parts and the cover (both personal opinions and completely subjective) I have to admit that Allegaeon have evolved considerably since 2008 and, if they continue this way, we will see a lot of quality releases from them.

4/6

Angel Spiliopoulos
Angel Spiliopoulos
"He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee."

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