“Tyrants Of The Terrestrial Exodus” stemmed from research I did concerning what it would take to relocate the human populace to a new planet. Ezra really came at it from multiple angles, one being that the earths population is so vast, only a select group would be chosen to go. The selection process would be at the hands of the people in power. The rich would corrupt it to an extent based solely upon self preservation. At the end the earth basically says fuck it and kills us all. – Greg Burgess
Elements of the Infinite was recorded, mixed and mastered by Dave Otero at Flatline Audio in Colorado Feb-April 2014. Otero’s work has been more prominent in the last few years – some fans may have heard his work on the latest Cattle Decapitation album, Cephalic Carnage, and more. The result is a huge victory of technique, aggression and the rich subject matter one would expect from Allegaeon, one of metal’s most exciting acts. We talked to Greg Burgess-/guitar and Ezra Haynes-/vocals to step deep into the worlds of the infinite.
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This record is so strong in scope, it is impossible to sum it up to a reader. how do we start? scale the summit released an instrumental metak record the great migration recently which was very forward thinking and stunning, but the new allegaeon is like another level. this record is like a small step for mankind!
Greg – Well thanks man. I think it’s a huge step for us, but mankind might be a tad of a stretch.
Ezra – That is very nice of you to say. All of us are very appreciative of anybody who likes the music we’re writing. Thank you.
How hard was it to excecute such a complex album in the studio? “our cosmic casket” alone, they should give you guys medals for that performance. very ambitious. also, are we doomed to float on this rock until we destroy it?
Greg – Ya know I love working in the studio, its a complete different monster than live performance. I think I might like the whole capturing the music better than live shows, but that changes from day to day. I know we all had to practice quite a bit to get the parts right, but as long as we can do the songs in sections and focus on the little details it’s not a overwhelming undertaking.
At this point I would say the whole doomed to float thing is relevant. Until the people in power become actual human beings and less of “politicians” I think we’re in for a long ride. I would like to believe that when their butts are on the line they’ll figure it out. However that may be blind positive thinking.
Dyson spheres are a fascinating concept. what about it captured your imagination for a song title?
Ezra – The song title is probably as blunt as it can be. The reasoning behind writing about Dyson spheres really was just a result of me surfing the web and stumbling across the subject. It intrigued me to write about it with a sci-fi approach considering Dyson spheres are probably unachievable due to the project’s size.
“threshold of perception” contains some great elements of modern aggressive thrash as well as stuff that is off the charts, fluid and technical playing. are you insistent this band just follow their own sound and let it become what it wants to be? the solos are stunning. there is a sense of song as well as technical skill.
Greg – Our influences are very all over the place. I’m a thrash kid at heart, Megadeth will always be my “go to” band. Their earlier work played such a huge role in how I identify myself as a guitarist and songwriter that escaping their influence is impossible. Some of the more technical sections were influenced by tech death bands, and some black metal. Allegaeon as I like to think about it is kind of a melting pot for a lot of the sub genre’s. We’re even getting more into the symphonic stuff now, like Septic Flesh, Dimmu, Symphony X, and Fleshgod. So I think we’ll continue to grow in all directions.
Can’t ever go wrong with septicflesh. one band that is not very much like you in some ways but comes to mind when i hear you is Testament. they always try and grow but also contain elements of what make them great from the past. i feel like you guys also sort of fearlessly create but stay true to yourselves.
Greg – Wow thanks man I love Testament. I’ve actually seen Testament more than any other band. Their LOW album will always be in my heart.
Yeah, with Tempesta. great album.
Greg- Looking at the bands within metal you have guys that started as one thing and changed drastically over the years, sometimes that change was great for them and sometimes not, nevertheless they always piss someone off. Or you have bands like AcDc, Cannibal Corpse, and Slayer that have really made a career for themselves by staying true to what got them popular in the first place. The changed but it wasn’t drastic so the fans went with it. I like bands from both categories and have kinda struggled with how we should mirror our own path after. After the over contemplative soul searching BS, I figure fuck it I’m just gonna write what I feel like. We got this far by writing music we like, so don’t over think it, just try to write music we wanna hear.
The occult is so championed in underground metal but i love you are doing science metal instead, haha. it is so much more interesting in many ways, though hocus pocus and hard science can perhaps lead to similar destinations we have yet to discover, like h.p. lovecraft knew.
Greg – I think bands kinda write about what interest them. Loads of bands are interested in that stuff, and more power to them. I used to love that crap. The more evil the better, I was pissed at the world I wanted to shock people. I grew out of it, and now I’m interested in how things work. To look into how the universe and science works is to better understand ourselves and each other. That’s fucking RAD!!!
Can you discuss more themes of the record. there is so much to dissect. i got feelings of colonization, the yearning for knowledge, pain and regret and also aggressive drive from listening to this release. and “our cosmic casket” really makes me want to head bang, of course.
Greg – “Threshold Of Perception” to my knowledge is a mix of science and psychology. The learning of ones death, to acceptance to the chemical reaction of actual death. Roller coaster of emotion. “Tyrants Of The Terrestrial Exodus” stemmed from research I did concerning what it would take to relocate the human populace to a new planet. Ezra really came at it from multiple angles, one being that the earths population is so vast, only a select group would be chosen to go. The selection process would be at the hands of the people in power. The rich would corrupt it to an extent based solely upon self preservation. At the end the earth basically says fuck it and kills us all. “Dyson Sphere”, kinda touched on that one above but, it’s a giant superstructure built around a sun to harness it’s energy with very little energy loss. “The Phylogenesis Stretch” is about Goldilocks zones. There’s only a certain radius around a star where a planet is capable of sustaining life, this radius is called the Goldilocks zone. Gotta be the right temperature for life to flourish. And this is only talking about life as you or I know it. “1.618” the golden ratio. The Fibonacci series, the ratio of divinity. This appears in art, architecture, biology, nature, hell no one can escape it. “Gravimetric Time Dilation” is about gravity and masses effect on time as we know it. “Our Cosmic Casket” is about black holes. “Biomech II” picks up where Biomech I left off. The first Biomech discusses Stem Cell Research, and the religious backlash. For part II we took up the mantle of 3D printing and the possible religious opposition that will no doubt arise. “Through Ages Of Ice” is our natural disaster tune for the album, we have at least one on every record we’ve done. Finally “Genocide For Praise” is about the 10 plagues of Egypt, from the perspective of, well… wow Gods a petulant asshole.
Does it bother you when people say metal can’t go any further or make new groundbreaking music? i think that is so stupid.
Greg – Not really, I think generalizations are made about every style of music, and to some extent they’re valid. Its just finding or being exposed to the right segment of that music that will change a persons mind. That’s not my job though, they wanna live in ignorance of awesomeness that’s their problem.
Ezra – Ultimately everyone will have their own opinion, so you can’t really let it get to you.
can you discuss further “genocide for praise”? what does that song title mean for you? it made me think of all the religious wars in history.
Greg – Sure I talked a bit about this in the song descriptions but, the 10 plagues of Egypt. Basically the story of God punishing a whole civilization, for one mans choice. One man controls Egypt, shouldn’t the punishments be exacted on the one causing the problem? I’m an atheist so I take the story for what it is, an anti-slavery tale. However from a modern point of view the story paints God as a horrible entity, basically killing innocents, so that a group of people will continue to praise him. It’s self serving, petulance at best, genocidal asshole behavior at worst. Let me clear we’re not an anti-religious band, you wanna worship Yahweh, Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, whatever more power to you. Be happy, be good to people, live a good life. That’s just something that I don’t need, and this song is more a commentary from our point of view on the story.
Ezra – Greg nailed it.