Allegaeon – Proponent for Sentience (Review)

AllegaeonThis is the fourth album from US death metallers Allegaeon.

This is an ambitious, epic release; 72 minutes of science fiction-themed grandeur and technical aggression.

The band’s music is technical, melodic death metal that features a lot of engaging content and some quite virtuoso playing. For a band like this, the level of technicality on display is always going to be high, but Allegaeon never let this get in the way of a good song.

Taking the modern technicality of The Faceless and the melodic aggression of Soilwork, (whose singer guests), alongside an added a touch of the orchestral bombast of Dimmu Borgir, Allegaeon’s music is a refreshing take on extremity that sees them fashioning notable songs that make an impression.

There’s no shortage of brutality throughout these tracks, but this is neatly balanced against a keen body of work featuring involving melody and technical prowess.

Lots of good ideas and little musical additions pepper the release like an infection, adding to the charms of the complex compositions. The band clearly have high expectations for their music and have the confidence and ability to live up to them.

I like that they’re not afraid to experiment with their sound and have lots of musical diversions and explorations around their central theme, providing the listener with a feast of textures and rich hues to lap up hungrily. This progressive edge works very much in the band’s favour, complementing their melodic metal base and technical expertise with extra flavours to savour.

This is the band’s first album with their new singer and he seems to have slotted into place like a shiny new cog in a well-oiled machine. His combinations of growls, screams and all kinds of aggressive utterances show a singer with a strong voice and a good range. Clean singing also appears near the end of the album, albeit rarely, (notable a Rush cover); from guest singers too. Music as complex and rewarding as this requires a talented vocalist to go alongside it, and Allegaeon have managed to procure one that fits the bill with no problems.

There’s a lot to discover on Proponent for Sentience. It boasts a huge amount of content; although it makes a good first impression, you’ll still be discovering new things spin after spin, as this is an album that keeps on giving.

An essential listen for all extreme metal fans.

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