Welcome to a new feature on Heavy Blog, “The Anatomy Of”. Taken from the Between The Buried And Me album of the same name — in which the band pays tribute to artists/bands that they feel have most inspired their songwriting — it’s a feature in which we hand off the metaphorical microphone to bands so they can talk about their influences. Read more entries from this series here.
Allegaeon’s mix of melodic death metal and technical elements is an arresting array of sounds: their newest album, Elements of the Infinite, is a wonderland where thrash riffs, soaring leads, and blazing-fast technical death metal rhythms play together and mingle in a titillating combination. And, once you see the biggest influences to the band’s sound, it’s not hard to understand why their music is as diverse as it is. Check out the five albums that have most influenced Greg Burgess, their lead guitarist and main songwriter, right here.
While Megadeth‘s Rust in Peace may not be my favorite Megadeth record (that has always been Killing Is My Business…And Business is Good) it shall always be one of my biggest influences. Out of the Big 4, Megadeth have always been the guitarists’/musicians’ band to me. Metallica the biggest, Slayer the most aggressive, Anthrax the most kinda straight ahead, but Megadeth are the dudes who changed the world with guitars. I always looked up to Dave Mustaine as being the dude that could play such technical riffs while keeping his song writing chops full bore. When people say that Allegaeon is so tech but yet they write songs, I always have to tip my hat to Megadeth. While my song writing is greatly influenced by Dave Mustaine, my lead playing is greatly influenced by Marty Friedman. His phrases go on forever, and his solo in “Lucretia” is probably one of my favorite solos of all time. Just awesome!
My first introduction to Dream Theater was on their album Awake, I think when I heard John Petrucci‘s solo in the song “Erotomania,” my jaw hit the floor for the entirety, and then proceeded to just sit there smiling like an idiot. After I heard that I, of course, worked backward only to take in 1992’s Images and Words. Their use of time signatures and instrumental sections totally became a huge influence on me. I think I went straight out and bought the tab booklet and started breaking down what John was doing in every song. Still to this day, “Take the Time” and “Metropolis, Part I” are part of my musical identity.
I had long reached the jaded stage when it came to new music, when my friend told me to check Soilwork out. I was in my junior year of college and was kinda just in a rut. It seemed like metal was kinda at an end for me. Classical guitar was pervading my every day and I just had lost interest in anything new that was coming out. That was until I listened to A Predators Portrait. I was flat out blown away! This album along with Chainheart Machine, and Natural Born Chaos, to this day play a huge part in my writing style. To me Soilwork took everything I loved about metal and completely revamped it.
Yes‘s Drama might be the only record I’d list under influences AND that desert island disc game. I can’t speak highly enough about this album. The intertwining of instruments on this disc shook me to my core. From the first song, “Machine Messiah,” not only did they champion the progressive music they were stupid heavy!! Seriously those first chords… 1980, super heavy. Every instrument and vocal bit on this album are perfect to me. The way Yes arranged their tunes, is still something I look up to and try to emulate.
Where Andrew York will always be my favorite classical guitar composer, my influence that I most draw from for the classical guitar portions of our music come from Jason Vieaux‘s interpretations of Barrios and Morel on his Laureate Series album. I believe he just came off winning the GFA competition. Being a metal guitar player who just decided to make a go of it in the classical world, it was really strange for me to be able to sit through a whole classical guitar album and it keep my attention. This album did, and I still listen to Jason’s interpritations and try to emulate some of his phrasing ideas.
To keep up with Allegaeon, you can follow the band on Facebook! More importantly, make sure to check their music out on YouTube via Metal Blade Records. Consider tossing the band a few bucks to encourage them to keep making more excellent tunes!