Allerjen – Equilibrium

Equilibrium the new album from UK metalers Allerjen may not have the brute force to bring down nations but it will leave plenty of casualties with numbed senses and weakened knees. Already renowned for their ferocious sound and instinctive grooves the Manchester quartet has hoisted up their intensity and aural intimidation with Equilibrium, bringing ten mighty tracks to accost and abuse the ear and beyond.

Formed in 1999 as Sphere, it was after their evolution into Allerjen in 2002 that things started to pick up for the band including a relatively settled period line-up wise, their earlier years seeing much instability. Through sharing stages with the likes of Sepultura, Amen, Man Must Die, Biomechanical, Skindred, Khanate and Forever Never, festival appearances such as the Damnation Festival and the Godless Festival the band brought strong support, acclaim and marked themselves as a rising formidable band in UK metal. Their recordings have further accentuated the band’s reputation, the early EP’s Lies, Allerjen, Progression Of Direction, and Resurrection grabbing attention and debut album No Guts, No Glory of 2008 proving the band was on a constant and strong rise despite at times a stop start journey. Over the years the band’s sound has hardened to become even more abrasive and rugged until this point when with Equilibrium, Allerjen have unleashed a bestial album of deathcore, metal and technical intrigue and more to take one down a heavy and brutal road graced with insistent grooves and fine creativity.

Released February 20th via Brutal Elite Records, Equilibrium slams fast and hard into the ear from the opening note of first track ‘Destroyer Of Worlds’. Commanding rhythms back up the striking guitar play. It turns out not to be the most powerful track on the album but with muscular riffs determined to occupy the ear and razor sharp melodies permeating the senses it is an excellent track. It comes with a diversity and thoughtful creation, the edgy melodic side matching the strength of the bruising power. As the whole album proves the guitars of Paul Wilkinson and Audie Harrison are not content with straight forward yet impressive displays but they stretch themselves and the songs with unpredictable changes, directions and refined creativity.

The brilliant ‘Treachery Be Thy Name‘ takes over next to rile up the pulse and excite the heart. Drummer Paul Tarbuck guides the track firmly as bassist John Dower solidly completes the formidable rhythms attack. Again though it is the guitars forming and providing instinctive grooves and insatiable riffs that make the track irresistible. Shifts in pace, time signatures and some delicious discordant guitar play give options to the unrelenting riffs and commanding beats. Dower’s vocals spew bile and malevolence all over the track, again something every song offers. His harsh growls like having one’s ear caressed vigorously with gravel mercilessly to overwhelm.

It is consistently the grooves and intelligent play that makes the band shine. Within the likes of ‘The Process To Being’ with a partial hard rock feel, the predatory threat of ‘Hunter’, and the best track on the album ‘Achieving Equilibrium’ the band offer so much more than other like genre bands, Allerjen provoking themselves and us with thoughtful and inventive songwriting and performance. The third of these tracks is a merciless searing attack intent on grounding one into the dust whilst feeding acidic and appeasing melodic intercourse. Unrelenting it grinds the senses into submission to revitalise with their melodic and inventive flair.

The album is deeply impressive but it does carry one negative that restrains it from greater heights. The vocals of Dower as mentioned are uncompromising and severe which is fine, and they are great at times. The problem is his delivery across the whole album is one pace, and unvaried. Often this works but in others the songs creativity is crying out for a disruption and ingenuity within his delivery.

Truth is though Allerjen have returned with an album that reinstates them as a definite force within UK’s metal scene. Equilibrium is a fine release with an ingenuity and thrust that hits the sweet spot whilst bludgeoning the ear. Simply just check out Allerjen.

RingMaster 09/02/2012

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