What happens when a death metal band covers a prog classic? The creation of a new standard, that’s what. Allegaeon has just released a cover version of the Yes song “Roundabout” from their classic 1971 album, Fragile. If you just say “death covering prog” it sounds like a train wreck, but if you are an Allegaeon fan you know in advance this is going to work out. The hyper-technical musical abilities showcased in their latest full-length album, Apoptosis, make it abundantly clear that Allegaeon can handle the statistical density of Yes’s complicated composition.
The first two and a half minutes of the song sound like if Emerson, Lake, and Palmer had covered “Roundabout” – musical perfection with a slightly harder edge than the original. But then you start to hear the differences. The guitars start to kick in even bigger with a power not evident in the original. The vocals initially are clear like the way Yes did it, but they start to get a growling layer about halfway through that works an harmonic magic. In the last two minutes, the lead guitars take off on a wild ride, always in the context of the Yeswork but colored Allegaeon. The song ends in the same harmonic fashion as the original, down to the da-das. Eight minutes and twenty-one seconds.
Here’s how you maximize your experience: listen the Yes original first, then immediately crank the Allegaeon version. It’s fantastic. And after that, give Apoptosis a listen if you haven’t already (or do it again if you have). Great stuff. Recommended.
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