This goes out to Buke, who is practically gnawing off his own appendages waiting to hear this album. :)
Wikipedia lists All Shall Perish as a deathcore band from Oakland, CA. I’m not a real fan of the term deathcore or the bands that are generally associated with it. So I’m going to just call All Shall Perish death metal if no one objects too strenuously. The vocals range from low guttural growls to higher pitch screams, and the music is fast, heavy and melodic enough to have come from the Swedish death metal scene, so I pronounce it death metal.
Right out of the starting gate these guys get me pumped up with “Divine Illusion” and the repeated line “Your god can’t save you”. The next several songs punched me in the face and roughed me up a bit before “Procession of Ashes” spent the last minute and change cooling down with some clean quiet guitar work. The respite was brief because then “A Pure Evil” charged back into the pit ready to do some damage.
The guitar work on this album is amazing, which of course I’ve come to expect from All Shall Perish. I love how in the middle of something heavy they might just bust into some clean guitar, totally changing where you thought they were headed. And the crazy riffage can get downright schizophrenic at times. I think the guitars have always been what drew me to ASP. I really enjoy the vocals too; the fact that they go high and low just makes it a little more interesting to listen to over the long haul of the whole album.
The sound on this latest album seems a little more intimate, a little more in your face than the last record. This one seems a little warmer tone-wise and really like I said just in your face. I’m very happy with the production quality.
Wait a second; is that a piano at the end of “The Past Will Haunt Us Both”? Yep, it sure is. Cool. I wasn’t expecting that. There is even more piano on album closer “In This Life of Pain”. Several minutes worth in fact. I thought the whole closing track might be one long peaceful instrumental, which would have been ballsy and cool, but it eventually kicks back into metal gear.
To sum up, this album IS exactly what I was expecting from All Shall Perish. Based on past material I thought it would be brutal yet melodic, technical and precise, and very well produced. My expectations were met and then some. I really do think I enjoy this album better than the last. I saw some other places that reviewed this as a mediocre album and now that I’ve heard it, I think they are crazy or were having an off day or something, because this album kicked my ass.