Review: “Chrysalis” by Alogon

The Koine Greek word ἄλογον (álogon, meaning inexplicable, irrational), is where Genova, Italian Progressive Metallers Andrea Olivieri (Vocals), Jack Repetti (Bass & Synthesizer), Damiano Logozzo (Guitar) and Francesco Schenone (Drums) found the name for their band. Citing influences in the likes of TesseracT, Devin Townsend and Monuments, the quartet have been writing music together since 2016, releasing the debut full length album in October 2019.

99 seconds of ambient synths with space age qualities and whispered vocals formulate in “Arhat“, which may mean “a Buddhist who has achieved enlightenment and at death passes to nirvana” and servers merely as an appetizer for the main event “Omen I: Deconstruct“. Changing their path entirely, Alogon bring a groove based Progressive Metal to the table with hints at the kind of schizophrenia that Destrage produce in the background. They’re not afraid to drop things into a melodic bass heavy  DJent drive through to get their message across. Olivieri offers bright clean and thoughtful vocals… Until the final breakdown section of the track which sees him pushing his boundaries with some dark uncleans that you just won’t see coming. “Omen II: Resonance” is the sequel of sorts which has a bouncy funk feel with its Progressive overtones and utilizes those uncleans more by using them as the opening part of the pre-chorus. In some ways you could argue that they are not needed because the funky groove sounds carry a clean vocal better but they do add a gravity and grit to the bands sound in a complete role reversal to how heavier acts do their deeds. Ten seconds or so of synths act as a pallette cleanser before “Fortune Bound” opens with a Queen esq 44 second burst of acapella which has been multi layered to give the effect of a hall of mirrors of voices. There is a bit of Plini influence in some of the Math Rock passages that bridge the funkier clean guitar work and the complexity that Alogon are able to formulate is well thought out. It’s all about building and expanding before moving forward. Schenone’s kit work is impressive to say the least, the highlight of some of the dirge laden riffs passages as the guitars and drums interplay at the tail end of the track.

Title track “Chrysalis” bites harder with longer unclean passages balanced off by some very delicate clean vocals as Olivieri gives Spencer Sotello a run for his money. They guitars may not have the depth that Periphery are able to achieve with a trio Vs Logozzo alone but he manages to incorporate plenty of texture in his driven, energetic poly rhythmic gymnastics of pure joy. “Husk” has an aching beauty to it with acoustic guitars and violins, dropping out the Progressive aspects to allow the story to be told in substance over style. Alogon prove that they have what it takes to create a song that doesn’t rely on their technical prowess and instead has all the space to breathe it needs for the vocals to tell the lyrical depiction. Closer “The Fool” is arguably the albums most ambitious work at nearly 10 minutes, wrapping the science fiction edged synths from “Arhat” into the opening bars. The familiar guitar and bass tones keep the feeling of the album as a whole while some tribal rhythmic drum fills add something else into the mix. The technical solo is a fine piece of work when the band are usually reliant on rhythmic grooves and that final unclean bite of the poison apple is a reminder of the range they have should they choose to go that way in the future. They say that music soothes the savage beast and what Alogon have created is something melodic enough to be hangover music while being technical and progressive enough to create something both immersive and engaging [7.5/10]

Tracklisting:

1. Arhat
2. Omen I: Deconstruct
3. Omen II: Resonance
4. Fortune Bound
5. Chrysalis
6. Husk
7. The Fool

Chrysalis” by Alogon is out now

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