What I’m Listening To This October

Well the new release section has hit a rut again as of late.  I have picked up two albums since I’ve reviewed the new Daath album at least (out now).  Along the lines of Daath is a new band out of Fort Collins, Colorado named Allegaeon who brings a straight forward, solid technical death metal sound to the table with their release of Fragments of Form and Faith.  It’s the first band I’ve seen on Comcast’s metal channel in months that made me want to go out and find their stuff.  My biggest complaint about the album is that there are only one or two tracks that stand apart from the rest to me.  ‘The God Particle’ is the highlight to me with a blend of Lamb of God’s rhythm section and a post 2006 Behemoth era feel and then a little bit of shredding thrown in for good measure.  However, I will give them credit that none of the ten tracks are throwaways that need to be skipped over.  They are a band that if you enjoy one song, you will like everything that they have to offer.  There’s no track present here that lures you in to their sound just to disappoint you.  It’s definitely a solid album worth picking up or at least checking them out online and hoping they tour in the near future.

Intronaut’s Valley Of Smoke came out this week which I was anticipating after seeing them and hearing a couple of songs live back in August.  It is toned down a bit from the bands previous EP and LP’s with a much more accessible sound that will appeal more to the mainstream Progressive/Experimental metal crowd.  It is easily their most quality produced work and it showcases all of their instruments very well for the first time.  Their Null and Void releases were both a mammoth wall of sound that was incredible, yet too much to digest with just one listen.  The opening track ‘Elegy’ is a straight up prog metal song with a bass line reminiscent of William Murderface slapping the bass guitar with his cock on Metalocalypse.  ‘Above’ opens with what sounds like Sacha Dunable doing his Layne Staley impression to a jazz fusioned track which doesn’t really take off until the three minute mark.  ‘Miasma’ opens with the same wall of sound that I’m used to hearing from them but quickly calms down into a more relaxed sound as if they were taking a page out of Cynic’s book.  The 3 minute ‘Sunderance’ and ‘Core Relations’ start to develop an overall feel to the album as more of a collective experience rather than as individual songs that bleeds into the remaining tracks.  The first 35 seconds of ‘Below’ begin with random sound clips which lead into an Opeth like bass groove and is more of a progressive jam than anything since the vocals are fairly limited on this song.  ‘Valley of Smoke’, the album’s title track, is an eight and a half minute instrumental journey with the tribal drum feel mashed into a Tool b-side from 10,000 Days with some more of that dick-slapping sound on bass.  ‘Past Tense’ closes out the album with the bass prominently showcased yet again and to be honest it’s a little annoying on this track.  It turned a beautiful musical part into the sound of two elephants mating.  Overall it’s a very worthwhile listen for any experimental fan although it didn’t quite live up to my expectations with how solid and intense their prior releases were in comparison.

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