Allegaeon – Proponent for Sentience (Metal Blade)

Genre: Death Metal

Allegaeon’s astounding technical ability has never been doubt, but it was difficult to see where their sound could go after Elements of the InfiniteProponent for Sentience is the answer.

It’s an album that simultaneously reinforces their prog cred (and we’re not just talking about the lofty sc-fi concept or cover of Rush’s Subdivisions) and demonstrates their ability to write sharper, more focused songs. Terrathaw and the Quake has a stronger chorus, for instance, than anything on Elements… and From Nothing blends vicious riffery with some huge, crowd-pleasing hooks. Then you have the astounding Gray Matter Mechanics – Appassonata Ex Machinea, which sees classical guitars meld into a furious, breathtaking cyber assault.

New vocalist Riley McShane has also made a significant impact on the Colorado outfit: his wider range and dextrous delivery gives Allegaeon’s music greater depth, and he imbues the band with a character that was perhaps missing on previous efforts.

Sure, some of the album falls flat (Demons of an Intricate Design, for instance, is forgettable, bland tech-death), but on the whole Proponent for Sentience is a step up for this über-talented act – and could see them reach a wider audience.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10 Higher Consciousness