Allegaeon: Elements of the Infinite review

It’s not often that you come across a piece of work that makes you head bang and think. This is probably because society tells us that the cerebral is reserved for more conservative music and art forms, but that’s not always true. Allegaeon’s Elements Of The Infinite is not only a lesson in beautifully executed, technical death metal, but also a glimpse into the scientific and galactic through extreme lenses. As heard in “Tyrants Of The Terrestrial Exodus,” vocalist Ezra Haynes growls the lament of humanity as it makes it way off the planet in search of a new home after the carnal destruction of Earth. He insists that, “we must look to the stars” and his vocal inflexions make for a compelling argument. The string work on this album is an impressive dance of the melodic as it plays with the tendrils of extremity and severity that encompass the futuristic/scientific theme of the record. There are moments where the key is so high and fast that you would almost swear you were listening to a song on an 8-bit and then just as quickly as it came, the moment passes and is replaced by the rolling rhythms of guitars playing with percussion in an entrancing volley that bounces one off the other. Of course no death metal album is complete without its more somber tomes where the band takes a moment to lower the tone and up the intensity. This is then brilliantly paired with a return to the frenetic string dancing and appropriately paired breakdowns. Haynes vocals and messages are clear resonances of scientific theories and possibilities as displayed in one of the most masterful displays I’ve ever seen/heard. In their own way, Allegaeon is avoiding the “core” classification by sticking to the elegance and classicism of melodic death metal while injecting some educational aspects as well in regards to references to extraterrestrial life probability, dyson sphere theory, the premise of the golden ration by which we (society) defines beauty, and even questioning society’s perception of time. Not often do a metal band really challenge their listeners to dare to think, much less think outside the box and question the very astronomical, methodical, and systematic postulates on which we base our everyday lives. Songs like “Dyson Sphere,” “Gravimetric Time Dilation,” and “Our Cosmic Casket” are outstanding examples of just how intent Allegaeon is on making their point and presenting the other side of the coin. Elements Of The Infinite is easily one of the most engaging melodic death metal albums of the year. Between the intellectually challenging subject matter and the complex sonic construction, Allegaeon has created an album to be revered. The technical application is resounding in their execution of complex breakdowns, tempered by intense tones and reduced vocal distortion, which allows for optimal reception and interpretation. One can only hope this is the beginning of an impressive new dawn for the Colorado quintet and that future release so easily meld the mind-stimulating and head-rattling even half as well. Rating: 9/10 -Patricia Jones