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Sweden might be the home of Ikea, ABBA, and melodic death metal, but after listening to Formshifter, listeners would be surprised to learn that it is not, in fact, the home of Allegaeon -- who hail from Colorado. The band's sophomore outing channels the melodic fury of At the Gates and Arch Enemy with an absolute nonstop riff-fest of an album that feels like a direct descendant of the Gothenburg sound in a way that a lot of American bands just can't capture. While this means that Formshifter isn't anything revolutionary or experimental, the things that are happening show that Allegaeon are looking to perfect the wheel rather than reinvent it, delivering a visceral and technically dazzling performance that pays homage to the bands that came before them without feeling like an out-and-out rehash of their sound. Melodic death metal fans who might've slept on Allegaeon's first album will definitely find something worth their time here.

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