Sick and of the progressive watering down of your Swedish melodeth hereos In Flames and Soilwork? Not impressed by the rather lackluster recent albums from Arch Enemy? Losing interest in Dark Tranwuility's very similar last 4 albums? Still lamenting the demise of Carcass. Well, step forward young Melodic Death metal fan, for Allegaeon is is band for you.
Now, when I say that Formshifter is a melodic Death metal album, you have to understand that we are talking about the melodic death metal that was kicking around Sweden in the early nineties, back when the genre was still very much more death then melodic. Ceremonial Oath and older At the Gates are good starting points; highly melodic yet very much drenched in the crusty ashes of late 80s/early nineties death. Crushing vocals, pounding riffs, blast beats a plent, and sorrowful rather then cheesy melodies. In their more melodic moments, the band sometimes recalls Arch Enemy at their best, and there is also a bit of a Hypocracy vibe going on in more than one place. However, while the bands sound recalls the sounds of old, the band also has a bit of a modern and technical edge to them, bringing to mind Arsis at their most aggressive, Black Dahlia Murder at their most interesting, and even a bot of prog/jazz riffs in some places
Basically, its melodeth with bite, balls and technical death flair. And its bloody brilliant. The melodies are air-guitar enough to please the most avid Michael Ammott fan boy, while the death is deathly enough to satisfy the most cynical of Death metal fans.
Whichever way you look at it, allegaeon are onto a good thing with Formshifter. It is still emlodic death metal, but this is much heavier and 'death' then just about anything that has come out since 1996. Throw in an eardrum-rending production and swathes of tech death panache and you have one of the best albums of 2012. Those longing for the bygone era of brutal melodeth will surely find a home in Formshifter, while, likewise, those seeking a bit more bite then what has been offered recebtly by the forerunners of the genre can confidently get stuck into the album. this is definitely a band to watch.