Review Summary: Can you smell what Allegaeon's cookin'?
There are numerous things astonishing about Damnum
. I say astonishing not to diminish the impact of previous records-not the shredding riff factory fun of Elements of the Infinite
or the expansive punchy bombast of Apoptosis
. It is decidedly not shocking that, upon their 6th record, Allegaeon would still rule harder than something that would rule greatly, say, perhaps, an exceptionally long ruler. One that would measure not in inches nor feet but in light years. Now that's a ruler. This is Allegaeon.
Boy, have they evolved.
The trademarks are still there. Steamrolling blast beats and drum fills serve as the platter to which the main dish is carried, upon which some particularly saucy guitar leads are ladeled upon meaty gutturals, so much so that the excess should leave the dish's nuances completely stripped, maybe even tepid and without flavor. However it is that which uncovers itself gradually that crafts the most wondrous dish, and Allegaeon, in their many years spicing up sounds in the musical kitchen, have learned this-true craft comes when risks are taken. With this notion they have torched their recipes, scorched the dining room, and left the bistro in a brilliant blaze. While the lightning-in-a-bottle tracks such as "To Carry My Grief Through Torpor and Silence" might still be relatively straightforward in their sweeping assault, the lumbering spoken word/fleeting acoustic intro of "Of Beast and Worms" showcases an opposite dynamic; something more patient and subdued.
Ultimately this striking balance gives both sides of the record a greater depth than they would have in isolation. "Called Home" is the ultimately dabbling in these dynamics, swapping from a rather somber acoustic bit to an immaculately hearty chug, immediately then into an autumnal prog-rock escapade, delving even then deeper into a winding airy atmospheric segment before finally building back towards the same meaty bombast much of the record portrays. In this cataclysmic ending the band have exited the smoldering restaurant, most likely with plans to lay waste to every fast food joint in sight, leaving the very foundations of every burrito-slopping Taco Bell quivering at their greasy knees. This is what fine dining is about.
This desire towards destruction comes back in a fearsome fashion on "Saturnine", with those wild gutturals and scathing shrieks coming back with an intensity that would make Lorna Shore go green with envy. Equally so would the guitar sweeps midway through, which veer on an almost power metal level of glistening over-the-top glory while somehow evading the nauseating levels of cheese many of those bands would offer. This, in part, is because it's arrival is but another seasoning in this sea of flavor-it does not muddle together. It does not threaten to overpower with it's contrast. Nay, it is but another delectable layer to peel back, another small building block upon thousands. This can be applied to all of Damnum
when I say-this is the penultimate tech death dish. This is how tech death should be made.