Allegaeon
Fragments Of Form And Function


2.5
average

Review

by J. Ponton EMERITUS
July 22nd, 2010 | 37 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Fragments of potential

I’m weak. There. I’ll admit it: I miss the days of technical death metal when things were kind of catchy, you know. I mean, I’m all for musical prowess and mind-bending solos - I was jamming that back then in the trenches of the Naughties and am doing so even today - but where has the structure gone? More specifically, where the hell are my melodies? Where has the 'cat' to the 'ch' to the 'y' run off to, eh?

Blasphemy. Right. I’ve heard it before, far too often actually - but come on now: Up until Arsis’ second album, United In Regret - err, that is, when things hit fast-forward into wanking territory from there on out – you enjoyed your fair share of the who-gives-a-damn-about-songwriting Epitaph and the good-natured appeal of your Defiant Imagination, right? Oh yes, you had a soft point once in your path to metal elitism, however short. Don’t you ever, once in a blue moon at least, miss those car rides with A Celebration of Guilt blaring through your speakers? Hmmm?

Thought so. Despite its flaws, here’s your entrance to nostalgia, my friend: Allegaeon’s Fragments of Form and Function. That’s right, this album brings in the memories of songs premised on melody, vocal and guitar in nature, and, hey, all without the technical aspect of the band’s music being castrated in the process. Sounds like it’s all plagiarized from like ten years ago, right? Well, it actually is, when it comes down to it, so much so that this Colorado quintet’s faults make themselves evident only three tracks in thanks to comparisons that will inevitably, by default, pop into your head.

To start, while Ezra Haynes is a strong vocalist – think Mikael Stanne sped up with the likes of James Malone – the melodies he puts to use over the band’s admittedly great performance of cycling leads, catchy solos, and apt drumming sound painfully generic, quite close to watered-down variations from the anthems of Guilt. Take for instance Fragments’ most commercial cut, “A Cosmic Question”: The chorus comes in over a tripping guitar riff from Ryan Glisan and Greg Burgess, with Haynes pulling a generic rolling delivery of “What lies beyond what we see?” In practice, it sound like something pulled straight from Arsis' or Mors Principium Est’s playing books, sadly. And unfortunately, you'll find that this type of borrowing is pulled on a lot of Fragments' songs.

And then there’s that album art, which hints at the lyrical themes of Fragments. Right, it’s hard to take these guys seriously sometimes to be honest, to the point where it distracts from the music. I’m for the sciences and think things like stemcell research are interesting, but in the tech-death setting the topics sound very out of place - or at least aren’t implemented into the music well enough to not sound so forced and contrived. If anything, themes such as pharmaceutical structures actually hurt the recycled melodies of the album even further, and also add this annoying bit of unintentional comedy to whatever Allegaeon set out to do.

This is unfortunate, as what Allegaeon do right is what the tech-death genre needs more of these days. Too often have the same albums been made over and over again with a lack of structure and cohesion. Fragments is the sound of a band that is able to change this - but they obviously have some things to work on before they do. The melodies of the album sound recycled from the bands that first did the melodic tech-death metal thing, and the lyrics are often too laughable to take seriously. That said, Allegaeon’s balance of melody to technical playing is spot on, though, as they really don’t have to sacrifice much to make songs that bring it hard and fast, with a sing-song-y quality to them. In this way Fragments of Form and Function ironically plays out to its name, as the band have it in them to do some great things, but as of now Allegaeon just don't have it all together in the right order.



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user ratings (108)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Apollo
July 22nd 2010


10340 Comments


album art is fucking atrocious.

Review is good however

Ponton
Emeritus
July 22nd 2010


5806 Comments


yeah, i know. That alone is enough for a lot of people to pass them off. Shame

Cheers

Digging: Ben Howard - I Forget Where We Were

CutMan
July 22nd 2010


1792 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I really like this album. They have potential to be better than good, I hope they make something at least great later. But, for now, darn good stuff, I think.

MalConstant
July 22nd 2010


65 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm a sucker for melodeth so I like this album. The song Biomech - Vals No. 666 is awesome though. I really enjoyed the classical ending to it.

Ponton
Emeritus
July 22nd 2010


5806 Comments


That's a good song

I like some of it too, but for me a lot of it was too hard to take seriously and several of the melodies felt weak. Agree with Cutman, though, a lot of potential there

CutMan
July 22nd 2010


1792 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Pos'd, by the way. I enjoyed your review thoroughly.

bloc
July 22nd 2010


34951 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Just gave this a listen yesterday! I thought it was going to be good, but I was so disappointed.

Good review Obs.

keysofanxiety
July 22nd 2010


143 Comments


Nothing short of a cracking review

Ponton
Emeritus
July 22nd 2010


5806 Comments


Thanks guys, been trying to switch my style a bit

asdemonsburn
July 22nd 2010


793 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

ep is better ep is better ep is better ep is better ep is better ep is better ep is better ep is better ep is better ep is better ep is better ep is better ep is better ep is better

Raz0rGrind23
July 23rd 2010


423 Comments


I saw these guys live about a month ago with Enemy Reign, another CO band based more in Death Metal/Skinless style. Allegaeon opened for them and while they had some great moments, the vocals were what ruined it.

Look up Enemy Reign. They are a much tighter unit in comparison. Oh, and good review.

Ponton
Emeritus
July 23rd 2010


5806 Comments


Never heard of that band, so thanks for the rec

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
July 23rd 2010


8371 Comments


nice review. If these guys are like Mors Principium Est and Arsis clones, no matter how good clones, I won't bother. Also, lol at cover art

Ponton
Emeritus
July 23rd 2010


5806 Comments


Thanks Styles. Seems like many of the new metal albums I try out are often meh. Shame, cuz this was getting pretty good press

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
July 23rd 2010


8371 Comments


Check out The Prohecy 23's debut album ...To The Pit. I haven't heard it myself, but since I'm out of town I won't for a while either. So, don't take it as a rec, but rather than a suggestion to tell me how it is :P

EDIT: also, the new Soilwork is cool, catchy stuff. I know you don't like the vocalist, but I don't either, yet I still enjoyed the album a lot. Would've enjoyed it even more if it weren't for Speed's vocals, but it's still a strong 3.5/4 for me

Ponton
Emeritus
July 23rd 2010


5806 Comments


Yeah, i've heard some good things about soil so maybe

Also streaming some of the Prophecy 23 stuff, and its not bad, though a little too much on the thrashy side for me to like. The art for their album is about as bad as the one for this one haha

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
July 23rd 2010


8371 Comments


oh yea the art for their album was pretty damn bad too haha. And well, it IS new school thrash so yea it's bound to be thrashy lol.

Ponton
Emeritus
July 23rd 2010


5806 Comments


It has a Darkane vibe to it that's not bad at all. if you get a chance, that's a good melodeath/trash band to check out

Zoo
July 23rd 2010


3759 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

A lot of people are saying this is garbage which is sad considering their ep had my hopes up.

Ponton
Emeritus
July 23rd 2010


5806 Comments


ehh, not garbage, but yeah a lot say it's a definite step down from their ep.



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