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Album Review: Allomancer – Polarizer

Allomancer are a thrash metal act based out of Brooklyn, New York right here in the United States. Although formed in 2014, they hadn’t released any material until the 2017 release End Hostilities. Just this past Friday, they finally dropped a hot and fresh full length titled Polarizer, starting their career off on a very technical step. With only eight tracks to unpack, it’s not overwhelmingly long.

That being said, Polarizer takes the technicality in a very atypical direction. While the wildly fret-happy solos are present, it isn’t the real standout factor here. Intricate guitar patterns are fused with the occasional breakdown, all the while remaining rooted in thrash. This can be heard most prominently in “Crisis Reactor.” The single “Witch Slayer” pushes the thrash roots into sludgier territory, with the rhythm being played at a steadier pace.

Of course, steady doesn’t always mean light, as the songs like this are still extremely bludgeoning and loaded with riffs. But “The Pit” strays away from this thanks to the bulk of the song being built on softer and smoothly placed passages. What’s nice is that the vocals are all relatively clean, and although they sound a bit weird at times, they fit very well with this style of thrash. Picture Dream Theater but not nearly as concise.

The only problem present is that Polarizer is incredibly top heavy. All of the standout moments lie within the first half of the record. The second half isn’t bad at all, but it doesn’t quite hold the momentum contained within the A-side if you will. The solo work is still strong as ever and doesn’t over-do it, doesn’t contain nearly as tight of tracks. Admittedly, repeat listens does help them grow on you.

Releases like this are fun because the hooks pull you in fast, but the large amounts of intricacy make it tough to stick the first time. I wouldn’t go comparing this to Vektor or anything, but there’s more technicality than your typical thrash act. In any case, this is completely worth your time and is deserving of a spin, especially if you dig the styles used.

Polarizer was released on June 21st, 2019, and can be found in CD and digitally over at Bandcamp.

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