ALLEGAEON – Proponent For Sentience
Technical death metal is a genre that is alive and well. Many bands take the genre and create some really unique metal that shows off their ability. However, very few of these bands feel like they live up to Allegaeon, who take tech death, add a ton of amazing solos and guitar work, and combine some melodic death to create a special sound. Their last album, “Proponent for Sentience” arrived in 2016, and showed off not only the bands technical ability, but their songwriting ability as well. “Proponent for Sentience – The Conception” opens up this album, and is the first in a trilogy of songs on this album. It starts off with a long orchestral opening, before launching into some fast death metal with some solid riffs. This song is fast and heavy, but doesn’t sacrifice any of the melody this band is known for. It’s also here we get the first solos on the album, something the band loves using. “All Hail Science” is next, and this track is a much more straightforward one. It has more of a typical death metal style to it, however the riffs and solos continue to be very well-done.
“From Nothing” has a darker tone than the previous songs, and features nice range of vocals, as well as some more top-notch riffs. The leads and solos on this song continue to show off the technical ability this band possesses. Up next is “Gray Matter Mechanics – Apassionata ex Machinea” a song that begins with a nice acoustic guitar intro, which is later interwoven with the tech death aspects of this song. This song is heavy as hell, and has some of the tightest songwriting on the album. The long acoustic outro ends this song in a way that makes it feel like a complete package, bookending the death metal with these softer sections. The band’s melodic tendencies begin to take over with “Of Mind and Matrix” a song that has an amazing fast and melodic intro. The chorus of this song is especially melodic and the solo on here is nice, as expected. Up next is “Proponent for Sentience II – The Algorithm”. This one opens with another orchestral intro, and overall is a slower track. The writing continues to be tight, and the riffs and drumming are as equally standout. This leads into “Demons of an Intricate Design”, which is an epic song that is faster and heavier than the previous. The darker tone returns here, as well as the well-written solos. “Terrathaw and the Quake” has a nice melodic intro, and continuously changes the pace, keeping the song interesting. The vocal variation on here is nice, and the writing, without a doubt, continues to be solid as hell.
“Cognitive Computations” has a slower intro with nice lead guitar. It picks up the pace to become a faster and overall heavier track. On this song, we get a soft section that comes with some nice clean vocals, before picking up the pace again and having another nice solo before the end. Up next is “The Arbiters”, which has a soft, ambient intro that leads into a nice heavy section. Here we get another softer section, however this one is dominated by the lead guitar. The outro on this one sounds like in industrial machine in a factory, which builds towards the sci-fi themes of this album. The last original song is the end of the trilogy, “Proponent for Sentience III – The Extermination. This one opens with a sample of Stephen Hawking talking, before a soaring lead guitar takes over. This song features Ben Ellis from Scar Symmetry on a guest solo, and the chorus is sung by Bjorn Strid from Soilwork. This is an epic song. Not only as the end of the album, but the end of the trilogy that tell this album’s story. This is a great way to the end the album, or at least the original section. The last song on here is a cover of Rush’s “Subdivisions”. This is a really good cover, that while Allegaeon takes their own spin on it, it feels true to the original. This is a great album. If you like your music guitar-focused, then give this a shot. Any fan of tech or melodic death metal should also check this out, you won’t be disappointed.
Overall Score: 9.5/10
Review by Sam Hookom