Madison, WI

Allegaeon cruise into Crucible having just released another fantastic album on Metal Blade Records. Their last album, “Aptosis” was released back in 2019, so it had been 3 years and a pandemic closing down life in that wait for new tunes. Not a bad wait, relatively speaking. I couldn’t have been more excited though. Since the new album is beyond excellent and nearly perfect in my opinion. I couldn’t wait to see the precision of these absurdly talented and creative masterminds of metal.

Anyways, Heading into this performance I was too thrilled to hear the new stuff played. Crucible is perfect for a show like this. It is dark with limited amounts of stage lighting. Being a photographer I can tell you that it is one of the most challenging places I have shot.  One thing I noticed was they performed at least one song from every album, but their first two releases. “Of Beasts and Worms” has such a flux in vocalist Riley McShane’s ability to sing and scream. He killed it. For a lead single, it is an almost 7-minute masterpiece of modern death metal. McShane puts on a clinic for his brutally wicked vocals.

The guitarists really steal the show though. Greg Burgess and Michael Stancel are so technically fine and in rhythm with each other from the start. Their classical music influences are extremely noticeable within every note strummed. They slash and rip through every chaotic chord. A powerful intensity radiates from the strings. Rare glimpses of smiling crack through the headbanging and hair swirls. These dudes were on point. The 8 song setlist felt like one big symphony of face-melting savagery and beauty. Their combined artistry really blew me away. On the low end, Brandon Michael pounds the bass. He was fully engaged with the crowd that was pushing forward onto the stage. Whether yelling, high-fiving, or leaning over the monitors he was on it. Combine that with the relatively new drummer Jeff Saltzman. Saltzman delivers explosively quick snaps and heavy smashes across his kit.

The band was a finely-tuned machine. Every song was a work of art. Purely a metal mastery. Next time they come around there is no doubt I will have my ticket in hand and ready to go again.  

1. Threshold of Perception
2. Into Embers
3. Of Beasts and Worms
4. Gray Matter Mechanics - Apassionata Ex Machinea
5. Vermin
6. Metaphobia
7. Stellar Tidal Disruption
8. 1,618

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