Nothing can stop Allegaeon.
After five full-lengths of a melting between Melodic and Technical Death Metal, the band created in 2006 under the name of Allegiance by Greg Burgess (guitar, Nuclear Power Trio) and nowadays completed by Michael Stancel (guitar, Harboured), Riley McShane (vocals, Continuum, Virulent Depravity, ex-Pathology), Brandon Michael (bass, Harboured) and Jeff Saltzman (drums, Aversed, Unflesh, ex-Solium Fatalis) unveils us Damnum.
Bastards of the Earth opens the album with a melancholic introduction which quickly speeds up to throw us on an explosive rhythmic. Effective riffs are melted to devastating howlings, sometimes leaving place for raging leads, but also a very surprising part with clean vocals. Screams come back before the majestic Of Beasts and Worms comes to strike with all its strength, whether it is on the quiet introduction, raw verses or choruses with intense double vocals. The unfurling wave leaves us to Into Embers and its heady leads, driving us to a true wall of raw but melodic power. Clean vocals add this touch of quietness before the sound bursts into fire again, then To Carry My Grief Through Torpor and Silence comes to unveil weighing tones. The rhythmic may have been violent, we also feel it is darker, and visceral vocal experimentations confirm it, while Vermin turns out to be very catchy. Technical parts participate in this motivating groove which also seems relentless, even during lead parts, then the long Called Home unveils a moment of calmness before making us move forward to the furious rhythmic. The Prog influences’ heaviness unveil unexpected vocal parts, but the instrumental’s complexity never hesitates to go back into violence, just like Blight which seems to come back to a more raw and dissonant sound. Fastness and strength melt while keeping melodic influences, whether it is with leads or into the hooking basis, then the band allows a break with The Dopamine Void, Pt. I, a short composition which lets the band build a catchy and airy sound before The Dopamine Void, Pt. II reconnects with violence. The song allows each musician to unveil its abilities, on the common charge or into specific parts to one of them, then the final crushes us and makes place for Saturnine, a majestic and heady composition. The groovy rhythmic takes over clubbering us before allowing incredible lead parts to reign over the song, then vocals surface again, walking with us to In Mourning, a short and very quiet instrumental track. The album ends with Only Loss, a majestic and haunting track. Whether the introduction sets heaviness’ basis, the rhythmic throws us to the ground to beat us while the vocalist offers us one of his best performances, on clean or saturated vocals.
Allegaeon definitely offers us an outstanding performance. With Damnum, the band proves their furious melting of technicality and melodicity have good days ahead, while daring devastating or majesting parts as well as an incredible diversity on vocals. That’s a masterpiece.