Allegaeon, Concerto in Dm (Metal Blade 2020)

If J. S. Bach had had an electric guitar to work with, his music might have sounded something like this.

Last year’s Apoptosis was a major event in the evolution of Allegaeon, and in heavy music, really. The superlative musicianship combined with cunning composition established a primary marker in the band’s canon.

It might have been overlooked by the casual fan that the vinyl release of Apoptosis included two tracks not available on the digital download. Those tracks have now been released as a digital single for the greater enjoyment of the public at large.

“Concerto in Dm.” When the Roundabout single came out earlier this year, I suggested that you listen to the original Yes song first in order to appreciate better the new version by Allegaeon. Same thing here. The Bach music is Harpsichord Concerto in D minor, BWV 1052 allegro, to be precise. Typically executed on harpsicord and bowed string instruments, it sounds amazing on electric guitar with modern accompaniment. After all, it is not just the guitar – Bach didn’t have this percussion, either. This is not a note-for-note replication. Rather, this is an interpretation necessarily requiring some alterations. The resulting music is superb.

Side B is “In Flanders Fields,” a beautiful piece featuring acoustic guitar. Here it serves as a peaceful wind down from its energetic companion. The two seem very much like they go together, even lifted as they are out of the context of the larger album.

Concerto in Dm is available now at Bandcamp and other fine establishments. If you did not get these songs on the vinyl last year, now is the time to pick them up. Recommended.





Roudabout review,

Allegaeon, Concerto in Dm (Metal Blade 2020)

Allegaeon “Roundabout” Single Review

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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Allegaeon “Roundabout” Single Review