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Allegaeon (August 2014)

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    Posted: 01 Feb 2015 at 3:08am
The following interview originally appeared on the website Heavy Metal Haven and is reproduced here by me, the interviewer and admin of the original site. References to the original site may be present in the text. 

US technical/melodic death metal act Allegaeon have recently released their third full-length album, Elements of the Infinite via Metal Blade Records. Guitarist Greg Burgess answered Heavy Metal Haven's questions.

Heavy Metal Haven: First off allow us to congratulate you on the release of your third full-length album Elements of the Infinite. How about we kick this off with a little introduction?

Greg Burgess: Thanks so much man, well I'm Greg Burgess and I play guitfiddle in Allegaeon. We've been around for I'd say close to 8 years now and got 3 records and an EP in our catalog.

HMH: It's been about a couple of months now since Elements of the Infinite was released, has it been received to your expectations? Personally speaking it was the first technical death metal record from 2014 that really blew me away right from the start.

Greg: It's been received a way better than I expected. I was so concerned with just not disappointing fans I don't think it occurred to us that we could surpass our earlier work, which seems to be the majority of the opinions we've gotten. With the lineup changes and everything the goal was just make a seamless record, one where we hoped people wouldn't notice the member change up. I think we succeeded in that, at this point. 

HMH: You've had a major release every couple of years since the initial Allegaeon EP in 2008. How do you feel you've improved as a band in that time?

Greg: Our sound has been refined, as well as our ability. I've defiantly improved as a guitarist and a performer since we started. The longer you do this you realize how far you have to go, and the road is only getting longer, but we're up for the challenge. The EP spanned the gamut as far as technicality and sound. We had a really melodic tune in Nex Of Terra, a really simple tune in Preaching The Machine, a more brutal sounding one in Cower Before Me, and a more prog one in Weeds Will Prosper. I think there are elements of most of those in our music they're just less sectioned by song now, and instead are touched on in every song.

HMH: What can fans of your past work expect when coming to Elements of the Infinite for the first time?

Greg: I think they can expect what they've come to expect from us. Guitar nerdery, blast beats, and science lyrics. The only major change this time around is the amount of orchestra and choir we included. This it's helping the grandeur of the absurdity that is our music.

HMH: The music video for 1.618 is easily one of the best I've seen in a while. Whose idea was it to parody various metal styles in that manner?

Greg: I can't actually recall who's idea it was originally, but I do know that everyone contributed ideas and that's my favorite thing about the video. We all had ideas and all just chipped in laughing the whole way. We have ideas for the next two videos that will pick up where 1.618 and Cosmic Casket left off, it's just finding the time to film them.

HMH: Allegaeon's lyrics on Elements of the Infinite have a heavy focus on space and science themes. I recognised a couple of the more obvious ones such as 1.618, the Golden Ratio, and the theory of Dyson Spheres and of course Time Dilation. Where do you look to for inspiration when writing songs? Is this an area you or other members of the band have background knowledge in or does extensive research have to be done?

Greg: The concepts and ideas don't come from one source but many. A great deal actually come from talking with fans. We've talked to many scientists that are fans and they throw ideas out way, which we find fascinating. The whole Time Dilation concept was brought to my attention in Oakland California when we were headlining a metal festival out there. I think the promoter brought up the concept and I was sold immediately. This tour in Akron OH we had a science major trying to get in to the study of Neuro Science and the chemistry behind anger/violence. That'll prob appear on the next album.

HMH: I noticed that the band had some line-up changes in 2013. Did this affect your writing process at all?

Greg: A great deal yeah. We lost half our writing team, so I had to pick up their slack. Listen to a lot of what influences our last guitarist had, and break apart his past work to find out how he wrote. My half was gonna be no sweat. Replicating his stuff was gonna be challenging. Ultimately I think the albums more cohesive since it was only one writer for the majority of it. Our new guitar player Michael Stancel contributed 2 songs that are absolutely great. It should make for a very exciting future for us.

HMH: Which artists have inspired you the most, particularly for the new album?

Greg: I had to listen to a wide variety of artists to try an pull it together, but our main influences have always been Megadeth, Dream Theater, Nevermore, and Behemoth. Gothenburg stuff always finds its way into our hearts, Soilwork and Scar Symmetry are huge to me. 

HMH: This is a question I tend to always ask an artist; is there a particular song from Elements of the Infinite that you'd say is your favourite? For me it's a close call between 1.618, Gravimetric Time Dilation and Biomech II.

Greg: Gravimetric is my favorite, I really like my solo in that song, along with the more progressive sounding sections really took me a long time to write.

HMH: The album cover art appears to show a man mutating into an insect. Does this depiction tie in with any particular song from the album?

Greg: The album art doesn't have anything to do with the songs, it was just too cool to pass up. We're huge Colin Marks fans, and it just looked so desperate that we needed it. We had a concept but it got shelved when we saw that. Ezra tried to tie in the cover art with Genocide For Praise, with the locusts.

HMH: I see that you're currently on The Artery Metal Tour with bands such as Chimaira. How's it going?

Greg: For us very very well. Despite multiple vehicle problems our fans are coming out and supporting us. And we've seen a huge increase in turn outs for us, It's been great!

HMH: You'll then be on A Decade of Guilt tour with Arsis. Are there any further touring plans for Allegaeon after this, perhaps your own headline shows or overseas dates?

Greg: We have a couple perspective shows in South America, and then Europe direct on the heels. That's IF everything goes as planned, so you know, our fingers are crossed.

HMH: Any recent albums (let's say 2013 - 2014) releases that you'd like to recommend to our readers or anything upcoming you're looking forward to?

Greg: Absolutely, the new Son Of Aurelius album: Under A Western Sun, is one of my favorite albums I've heard in a very very long time. It's dripping with talent and song writing gold. Every instrument is just awesome, and I really appreciate the growth from the band. I seriously can't speak highly enough about their record.

The new Overkill album White Devil Armory, is great and exactly what you want from them. The Legends ha!

HMH: Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions Greg. Best of luck with the live shows.

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