ALLEGIANCE

Thrash Metal • Australia
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Allegiance is a thrash metal band from Perth, Western Australia.

The band formed in 1990, and released their first demo in 1991.

The band was inducted into the Western Australia Music Hall of Fame in 2003.
Thanks to Vim Fuego for the addition

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ALLEGIANCE Discography

ALLEGIANCE albums / top albums

ALLEGIANCE D.e.s.t.i.t.u.t.i.o.n album cover 4.36 | 2 ratings
D.e.s.t.i.t.u.t.i.o.n
Thrash Metal 1994
ALLEGIANCE Skinman album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Skinman
Thrash Metal 1996

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ALLEGIANCE live albums

ALLEGIANCE ...Time to React LIVE! album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
...Time to React LIVE!
Thrash Metal 1995

ALLEGIANCE demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

ALLEGIANCE Make The Pledge album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Make The Pledge
Thrash Metal 1991
ALLEGIANCE Torn Between Two Worlds album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Torn Between Two Worlds
Thrash Metal 1992
ALLEGIANCE Studio Live album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Studio Live
Thrash Metal 1992

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ALLEGIANCE Reviews

ALLEGIANCE D.e.s.t.i.t.u.t.i.o.n

Album · 1994 · Thrash Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Vim Fuego
The state of Western Australia is big. Really big. It’s so big that if it was a country in it’s own right, it would be the 10th biggest country in the world (for comparison Texas, which is a metaphor for big itself, would be the 39th biggest country). But then at the same time, there’s hardly anyone there. In a land of over 2.5 million square kilometres, 1.7 million people live in and around Perth, and population density across the entire state works out to a bit less than one square kilometre per person. Perth itself is a long way from Australia’s populated east coast. The flight distance to Sydney is 3290 kilometres. The distance from Sydney to Auckland in New Zealand, considered one of the most isolated countries in the world, is only 2164 kilometres.

So far, so high school geography class, you might be saying. What’s the point of the demographic and distance statistics here? The point is, that if you were trying to come up with a place where the biggest band in Aussie metal came from, Perth would probably be well down the list. But it happened. The place which gave the world actor Heath Ledger, musicians The John Butler Trio, and writer Greg Egan also produced Allegiance.

Allegiance came to the thrash scene just a little late, forming in 1990, but the band had an almost instant impact on the Aussie metal underground. Three well received demos and tight, hard-hitting live performances of intense, technical sounding thrash cemented their reputation as the must-see band of the early 90s. Music press plaudits and industry awards abounded. Taking Testament’s silky smooth fluidity with a bit of Metallica-style bludgeon, and their own original twist on thrash, Allegiance crafted two fine albums during a reasonably brief but notable career, the first of which is was the excellent “D.e.s.t.i.t.u.t.i.o.n”.

There’s the obligatory intro called “Intro”, and then the band smashes in to “Chaos Dies”. Initially, it sounds like something you could hear on any one of hundreds of earnest, well executed thrash albums of the era. It doesn’t really strike you as anything too remarkable, but hey, it’s listenable. Vocalist Conrad Higson has a Phil Rhind/Chuck Billy vibe to his voice – tough and a little raspy, but clear with a touch of melody. And then three quarters of the way through the song it all changes – all of a sudden the tempo kicks up a step, and solos fly off in all directions, and then it stops on a dime. Sit up and take notice – these guys have some fucking serious chops. They really know their stuff!

“One Step Beyond” chugs and stomps, and then accelerates into a headlong charge. The song eases between the two tempos, hits a blast beat, is topped by some fine liquid lead guitar, all while maintaining a consistent groove through the song.

“Torn Between Two Worlds” is another old fashioned chugger transformed to a feeding frenzy, and back again. There’s nothing obvious happening here. Each song seems to turn and twist in it’s own direction, unexpected, but not unwelcome. There’s variety in the song writing, but it’s all anchored fair and square in thrash.

“Morally Justified” hits with a high speed riff which would have left Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King wondering why they hadn’t thought of it. It chokes back in the chorus, but then blasts off again throughout the song. And in this, it demonstrates what Allegiance did so well with song dynamics. Thrash metal fans love thrash metal because it’s heavy, and because it’s fast, and sometimes because it’s both at once. These guys perfected the art of knowing when to play heavy, fast, and heavy and fast.

And then the eighth track “Path of Lies” throws in another fresh ingredient – death metal vocals! Yep, two thirds of the way through the album and these guys unleash another secret weapon. A short-ish blast of a song, the guttural vocals accentuate it’s brutality. And just to prove it’s not all about brutality, technicality and speed, closing track “Tranqullity” is a gentle piano piece played by guitarist Jason Stone, accompanied by a string section. It has that most vital of effects in an album closer – it leaves you wanting more.

It’s hard to pick a single highlight above all others, such is the quality of the work here. The guitar duo of Stone and Tony Campo trade off slamming riffs and solo duels. Drummer Glenn Butcher drives it all in an impressive performance, punctuating fills and varied rhythms with blast beats where appropriate. Bass player and lyricist David Harrison doesn’t often come to the fore, but when he does, it’s obvious he’s a master of his art. His lyrics are both thoughtful and thought-provoking.

These guys became the biggest metal band in Australia, without compromising their sound, but that’s precisely what metal fans love – integrity and lack of compromise. Just look at the band’s thanks in the liner notes. There are thanks to dozens of bands, zines, magazines, metal radio shows, tape traders, distributors, and fans the world over. They played the Big Day Out, and toured with such luminaries as Fear Factory, Kreator, and Fight. [As an aside, Rob Halford and his management company promised big things to Allegiance, but sadly never delivered. Who knows how much bigger this band could have been if things had played out more favourably.]

And then it all abruptly came to an end. The band split in 1997. Allegiance have become cult favourites since, and have reformed sporadically. They were inducted into the Western Australia Music Industry hall of fame in 2003. “D.e.s.t.i.t.u.t.i.o.n” should be inducted into your metal collection as soon as possible.

*in the writing of this review, I have variously typed the word Allegiance as Allegaince, Allergiance, Alegiance, and Alllegiance. This officially makes Allegiance the hardest band name I have ever had to spell. I struggled less with the name Paracoccidioidomicosisproctitissarcomucosis.

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