Thursday, November 3, 2011

Allele - Next To Parallel

Next To Parallel
Goomba Music

Despite taking a few years to get off the ground, when Jacksonville (Florida, U.S.) based act Allele finally secured a solid line-up, they soon hit the road and started building up quite a following after supporting the likes of Saliva, Nonpoint, Staind, Sevendust, Earshot, Trapt and Godhead. Not surprisingly, the band were soon offered a record deal, and within ten months, their debut effort ‘Point Of Origin’ was released (In late 2005) through independent label Corporate Punishment Records. Bolstered by an overwhelmingly positive response from both the press and fans alike, and sales figures to match, it would have appeared that Allele’s future looked bright.
But within a year, things started falling apart, with lead guitarist Kelly Hayes (Ex-Cold) leaving the group in early 2006. Despite the group’s determination to forge ahead as a four piece, vocalist Wally Wood (Ex-Troubled Mind) soon made the decision to part ways. Although the band recruited a new vocalist (Andy Toole), and embarked on a month long tour with 10 Years and Evans Blue, by 2009, Allele was over with.
But in a strange twist, Allele would once again reform when Wood got in touch with the rest of the band. One thing led to another, and after a lengthy six year break, Allele (Comprising of Wood, Hayes, new rhythm guitarist Mason Romaine (Replacing Lane Maverick), bassist Tim Tobin and drummer Giancarlo Autenzio) have finally returned with their long awaited sophomore effort ‘Next To Parallel’ - which is also their first for their new label home Goomba Music.
Although I hardly categorised ‘Point Of Origin’ as the kind of album that changed the face of modern music, I could honestly say that I really enjoyed their debut, and appreciated it for what it really was (Hard rock/alternative/nu-metal with a strong melodic structural underpinning). So after a six year wait, I was really looking forward to see where Allele was heading musically with ‘Next To Parallel’.
The opening track ‘Let It Go’ (Which is also the first single/promotional video clip) is quick to announce the subtle changes within the band’s sound since their last release, and it’s really quite subtle. There’s a maturity in their sound, and a greater element of thought gone into the guitar structures evident. Whereas the band’s debut was heavier, simplistic and catchy, ‘Let It Go’ sounds a little more subdued, a little dark and delivered from a band that seems a little more sure of what they’re doing this time around.
‘Closure’, much like the opener is a solid number that doesn’t rely on aggression, but more makes its presence felt with guitar riffs that are measured and calculated, and a chorus that really gets you hooked after a few listens. That’s not to say that Allele rely solely on the keeping things mellow and measured, as tracks such as ‘Drone’, ‘Something Cured’, ‘Answers’, ‘Feed The Wolves’ and the closer ‘To Arms’ (Which is definitely a personal favourite, and one of the truly different sounding songs from Allele) boasting a little more aggression from Wood in the vocal department, as well as a little more attack from the remainder of the band.
But the album does have some fundamental flaws in its design. One is the overall tone of the album. With a general vibe of maturity and comfort that can be gathered from listening to the album, you can’t help but feel that at times, it’s also hard to differentiate each song as an individual song unto itself. The other real problem is that at thirteen tracks long, it does overstay its welcome over its fifty minutes.
Although having some issues, ‘Next To Parallel’ is a solid follow up to ‘Point Of Origin’, even if it was a little long in the making, and a little safe in terms of sound and direction.
Hopefully the album is a success and allows Allele to branch out a little more on their next effort. Not to mention I hope that if there is another album, it won’t be a long six year wait.

For more information on Allele, check out -

© Justin Donnelly