Photo by Tony Gomez
Greg Burgess – lead guitar
Michael Stancel – lead guitar
Ezra Haynes – vocals
Jeff Saltzman – drums
Brandon Michael – bass
A lot has happened with Allegaeon since the 2022 release of Damnum, a record called a “triumph” of maximalist modern metal and “technically dazzling yet always in thrall to the uplifting power of melody.” First, the Colorado-based band–who formed in 2008–welcomed back original singer Ezra Haynes as permanent vocalist in November, 2022. Then, after resigning with Metal Blade Records, the quintet wrote and recorded two blistering brand-new songs-“Inhumation” and “Iridescent” –with longtime producer Dave Otero, one of which is available to fans today.
“Both of the songs are really aggressive, far more than anything I’ve done with the boys,” says Haynes. “Since my departure in 2015, Allegaeon had grown so much musically as well as introduced a more “personal” style of lyrics to the fold. This was a very VERY cool change to me.”
Ezra had this to say of “Inhumation“:
“We wanted to do a callback to the first album when we signed to Metal Blade, 2010’s Fragments of Form and Function. For the second song on that, ‘The Renewal,’ I built a layered vocal section that I thought was really neat then. I wanted to somehow incorporate something similar, but bigger and evolved, into ‘Inhumation’, considering the song is so damn massive. It’s without a doubt the most aggressive thing I’ve ever written. Also, now that Allegaeon is a group with three gents on vocals, I wanted to take advantage of that as well as showcase Michael’s insane vocal talent.”
The killer new tracks are precursors of what’s to come when the band enters the studio in 2024 to record its seventh album for Metal Blade. The two new stand-alone singles act as a bridge in Allegaeon‘s musical history. “Inhumation” has more of a Damnum vibe, whereas “Iridescent” is more reminiscent of Elements Of The Infinite. Musically, both songs were written with an overwhelming sense of anger; Inhumation in soundscape form, and Iridescent in a pure, frantic guitar-driven form.
Creative freedom is key in both Allegaeon‘s new songs and revitalized lineup. “During my previous career in music I was always mildly satisfied due to death metal just being aggressive in nature,” Haynes reflects. “Having the ability to really spread my wings in the “introspective” sense really garnered Allegaeon my full buy-in.”
Producer Otero has worked with the band for 15 years, and guitarist Greg Burgess explains that “Dave always provides a comfortable working environment, amazing ideas, and a career-spanning understanding of what has made Allegaeon, Allegaeon.“
And there’s another secret weapon: it’s not only Haynes’ stellar vocals on the songs: Guitarist Michael Stancel’s vocal talents make a shining recorded debut on both the chorus and bridge of “Inhumation“.
Among the lineup’s six albums are features from Bjorn Strid of Soilwork (vocals) and Benjamin Ellis of Scar Symmetry. Allegaeon has seen their albums in the Top 10 of Billboard’s US Hard Rock, US Rock, US Indie and US Sales charts, the tracks “1.618” from 2014’s Elements of the Infinite; “Of Beasts and Worms” off Damnum and “Parthenogenesis” earning millions of collective streams from fans the world over.
If Damnum is what happens when “absurdly gifted musicians reach a state of unwavering confidence” as one journalist raved, the band’s next chapter, back with Haynes, and with an unbounded, refreshed creativity, will be unstoppable. “It feels like Allegaeon is becoming the band we were always meant to be,” concludes bassist Brandon Michael. “The chemistry is incredible. Overall, we’re in a very good creative space together.“
Cover art: Travis Smith
2010 – Fragments of Form and Function
2012 – Formshifter
2014 – Elements of the Infinite
2016 – Proponent for Sentience
2019 – Apoptosis
2022 – Damnum