Allerjen are four of the loudest men in Manchester. Their uncompromising brand of death-metal has been honed over a career which began in the last millennium. During the last decade, the name and personnel of the band may have changed, but their complex approach to the genre has not.
Out February 20th on Brutal Elite Records, their latest album, Equilibrium, practically screams into the ears from the off. First track, ‘Destroyer of Worlds’ sets the bar high. Built on insistent rhythms and some impressively creative and dextrous guitar lines, it’s a blistering start. It’s immediately apparent that these guys are not merely building their songs around the most aggressive loudness possible, they have a real ear for melody. Make no mistake, these are aural assaults, but the unpredictability of the guitars and the propulsive drumming are clear indicators that this is a band who have mastered their own sound.
This is a theme common to much of the album, both ‘Treachery be Thy Name’ and ‘Achieving Equilibrium’ are highlights in a similar vein. ‘The Process of Being’, ‘Hunter’ and ‘Embrace the Divine’, on the other hand, offer more variety than can be found in many metal bands catalogues. This careful and precise approach to song writing keeps the album moving, but the (slightly) slower offerings here struggled to keep my attention held.
‘Equilibrium’ is a solid album, particularly if you are already into your death-metal. However, the casual fan may find this collection a bit too one paced, despite the clear creative thinking and variation of ideas on some songs. Vocalist John Dower’s twisted voice breathes menace over every track, perhaps a little too much in certain cases, as by the end some of the ideas on offer begin to feel a little formulaic and repetitive. With such complexity on offer, it is a shame that the vocals resolutely stay the same throughout, a problem not helped by ropey production on a few of the later tracks.
All in all, this won’t turn you into a fan of the genre if you’re not already, but for those who like all things heavy, the wealth of ideas here should be enough to keep you interested.
(Released through Brutal Elite Records on 20th February 2012)