Allagash – Dark Future
Allagash is a five-piece band from Newfoundland, Canada, formed in 2015. Initially meant to be a side project based on alien encounters and unsolved mysteries, the band has taken on a life of its own. Dark Future was initially recorded in 2016 and shelved, but it is finally seeing the light of day now. There is a bit of everything on this album regarding musical styles and genres, meaning there is no clear “label” to put on this band, which is really cool. This is music that stands on its’ own, defying categorization.
- Mooncrawler – Vocals
- The Sumerian – Guitars
- The Harvester – Bass
- Entity – Drums
- Guest Musicians:
- Mellraiser – Vocals on Dark Future
- John Cooper – Guitars on Intruders
- Todd Coulbourne – Keyboards on Worlds unknown
- Kyle Hynes – Backing Vocals/li>
November 4, 2022, via Marquee Records
- Destroyer Of Dreams
- Hostile Territory
- Dark Future
- Nightmare Hall
- Alien Evasion
- Critical Mass (Nuclear Assault)
- Worlds Unknown
The album opens with ominous spoken words from some other media (TV or movie, just not sure which). This leads into “Destroyer Of Dreams,” a killer song with a fast, heavy riff and some excellent melodic lead work. The drums are really good, ranging from near blast-beat speeds to melodic fills that help transition the song from one part to another. The bass is solid and spot-on throughout the whole song. The vocals are a bit too far under the rest of the music, seeming a bit subdued. The voice is clean and has plenty of power, so I’m betting it’s intentional.
“Hostile Territory” is the shortest song at just two and a half minutes. What it lacks in time, it makes up for in the volume of notes. The vocals are delivered fast through much of the song, though they have temperate sections. The lead guitar work is, again, quite good. They are pretty obviously layered, as there are a lot of guitar sounds but only one credited guitarist. This is a common practice, so that is not a criticism. On the contrary, the layers are very well executed and mixed, creating a lot of depth in the composition.
The opening for “Intruders” is spectacular. Lightning-fast guitars with killer bass drum work. Again, we have really nice lead work on the guitars and a great, driving bass line that amplifies the riff. The chugging rhythm at the chorus is a nice shift from the verse phrasing. Then, “Dark Future” comes in and goes melodic for the intro and sticks with that tone for most of the song, getting faster and heavier in a few sections. These guys do fast, really well. They work well together, putting out a lot of sound in a tight window, straddling the Thrash/Speed Metal line.
More alien theories are put forth on “Nightmare Hell.” The opening newsreel speaks of a secret government/alien base, hinting there might be more to the story than we know. I love the drum work in this one, but the bass is the star of the show for this track. The pace, the shifts up and down the neck, everything works well. They decided to move the bass a little more out front on this song as it hits that much harder.
“Alien Evasion” is a wild ride of a song. There are more gritty vocals in this track than in most others. The guitars are just as fast and frenetic as they always are, and the lead work also fits the song’s timbre. The solo is not quite shredding but is fast and a lot of fun to hear. “Critical Mass” opens with a heavy bass line and a brutal riff. The bass fills give the song a different texture than many others. The drums have their own feel like this song is meant to be competing segments fused into an excellent blend.
The final song, “Worlds Unknown,” is the longest track at just over seven minutes. It opens with the sound of wind over what sounds like a Ted Talk warning of the advanced technology the aliens have. The somber piano motes with the ethereal keys underneath give a sense of dread before the song fully begins. Once the guitars kick in, it’s like a race to escape the incoming raid. What will the world be like after this all happens? Will we end up in some extraterrestrial dystopian hellscape? Possibly. The almost Progressive Metal shifts in the tone and tempo of this song don’t answer the questions. No words are sung to give us a clue.
According to Allagash, we may be doomed to that alien dystopian hellscape, but one thing we know from all the movies, we will fight to survive! The music these guys write is complex, creative, and colorful. The lyrics are engaging. The speed, the melodies, and the tones used are fascinating, creating a lot of different textures within the compositions. The album as a whole flows well, each song dovetailing nicely into the next. It makes for a fun listen.
- Guitars – 9
- Rhythms – 9
- Vocals – 8
- Songwriting – 9
- Production – 8
- Overall – 8.60