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The metal section of Allegaeon’s metalcore genre alignment has been turned up with their newest album Formshifter. With a somber opening with the first track “Behold (God I Am),” the volume turns up with riffs that are a hybrid of thrash and metalcore. The drums provide the groundwork while the guitars are free to roam as they please. The riffs are either chunky buzzsaws or highly unimaginative noodling that just don’t sound like they have anything to do with the actual song. And opening an album with the longest track (over seven minutes long to be exact), can turn off people who wanted to give them a try.
If there was to be a choice over which song should open the album that pretty much sums it all up, it would be “A Path Disclosed.” It’s a bit faster than the other tracks, but it’s pretty generic by metalcore terms. The vocals are the only thing that makes this track stand apart from other bands. They’re a little on the high pitched side while slightly menacing. Then there is about 3 different solos at the end that are pretty decent, but doesn’t save this track.
If there was to be one track that sounds the most different (which is a daunting task to determine), it would be “Iconic Images.” It’s the only track that has more variation in the structure, but only by a short call. But for the most part, it’s just more of the same guitar noodling that forms in and out of solos while the drums contain the melody of the song.
The main fault of this entire album is that every track sounds like each other. None of them really take you by surprise or stand out. Allegaeon rehashes riffs and drum sections over and over while writing new vocals over everything. One thing that can be said here is that it’s still much better than their debut album. Compared to that, this is 100% better. The debut was just generic metalcore with even less imagination than this album.