Thought I'd take the time to review one of the latest CD's to
leaksoon be coming out in the metal scene.
All Shall Perish's latest CD is a step up in production from their last album "The Price of Existence".
I'm not a huge metalcore/deathcore fan, but these guys are freakin awesome. The breakdowns are just top notch, but therein lies the problem. This album doesn't do a great job on the breakdowns, shredding on the other hand is blatant on this album "Awaken the Dreamers".
Chris Storey does an amazing job on the guitar structuring for all the songs on this album, everything flows so smoothly and you can tell he's maturing as a guitarist. Yea, you'll still find the staccato passages which ASP is known for of course, but throw in a shit load of sweeped arpeggios, insane guitar riffs, and tremelo picking to boot that is quite hard (finger position changes + tremelo picking = great practice haha).
All in all I think that this album is a step up and a step in the right direction for ASP, bands that play the same old card over and over again with albums get old FAST, cough cough (names will not be mentioned), but ASP seem to have pulled it off, if barely. Breakdowns are still missing (where are the breakdowns like "We hold these truths" from their previous album?), intensity is in and out, but the whole band performs so much tighter and on a new level even, so in the end it evens out.
1) When Life Meant More...:
Classic ASP style start off. The riffs in here are pretty freakin cool, especially the one found at around 53 seconds. We hear Chris' playing come in at around 50 seconds into the song. At that point you realize that this is gonna be one hell of a ride. The vocals/lyrics are pretty good, they've been done before of course. This song is about people measuring their lives based on monetary value. The sweeped bridge w/ stacatto rhythm guitar is pretty slick, I loved it the second I heard it.2) Black Gold Reign:
The intro lead/solo is pretty cool, once again excellent use of sweep picking, ear tabbed the intro to this song and I can say that the sweep pattern is not your normal shape, very articulate. This whole song after the intro screams Iron Maiden, once you hear it you'll know what I'm talkin about. The falsetto scream at 1:40 just puts a huge grin on your face, a true metal fan will understand why, you don't even have to like ASP for that specific point. The guitar solos that Storey dishes out in this song is pretty impressive, the 6 string alt picked run he does at the end (2:23) has been done before so very many times, other than that the solos are awesome considering its coming from a deathcore band.3) Never Again:
Starts off slow and unsuspecting, turns into one hell of a song. This is a keeper, the guitar solo in this one is the most impressive on the album and in fact is impressive in comparison to any band really. There are, of course, sweeps in this song too, spread evenly throughout. Just listen to the solo, you'll be scratching your heads, its a diminished run, very Rusty Cooley. FYI Rusty Cooley is the only other person that I know that does the 4 nps runs, Chris Storey pulls it off no sweat (1:51), hell I can't even do that, long gone are the days where sweep picking was the ultimate guitar move. The riffs here are not very stellar, in fact, its very generic ASP style. There is an interlude thrown in there which changes the pace, breakdown that follows is pretty good but at this point it starts to get play out even for ASP.4) The Ones We Left Behind:
Very short instrumental track. You'll have to judge this one, its very non ASP. Resembles the interlude track from "Price of Existence"5) Awaken the Dreamers:
Great intro. The riffs are top notch here, what you hear is some good guitarsmanship....at least for the first half. Guitar solo here is not my favorite on the album, its just another shred/wank fest, not much soul behind it at all, in fact, no soul what so ever. I can appreciate the skill it takes to play that but the solo found on this track is fast for the sake of being fast if you catch my drift. Rest of song is good though.6) Memories Of A Glass Sactuary:
Spoken word track. Soft guitars/drums, very very very different. I felt this track added to the overall effect of the album, as opposed to say other bands that randomly throw in the "soft" track that has no purpose but to show they have a soft side lol. ASP pulls it off on this one, it's not the most beautiful sounding track you'll hear, it's OK. It's just a spoken word track, nothing special and I think the band intended for it to be that way, as kind of a "passage" that no one really takes attention to.Stabbing to Purge Dissimulation:
One Word: OMFG. Ok ok, 4 words, whatever. Best track on the album in my opinion hands down, heavy as FUCK. Blast beats? Check. Catchiest guitar riffs? Check. Stupidly fast (230 bpm, 16th notes, triple time in some places)? Check. It reminds me of the song "There is no business to be done on a dead planet" from their previous album. This is All Shall Perish at their best, if only one track could be heard from this new album I'd recommend this one, metal to the bone. Breakdown is pretty sick. No guitar solos in this one which makes it that much better, its straight up in your face brutal vocals. 2:00 to be exact:
"Now you're all just empty, fucking soul-less machines, rip you apart....
as they scurry around at your feet. Leave you to wither, as if you never meant anything."
I was reading the lyrics to this song, kick assery knows no bounds, the vocals on this track are what I like to call classic ASP, it's what makes them who they are. Not to mention I can't get this damn guitar riff out of my head from this song.Gagged, Bound, Shelved And Forgotten:
Not too big a fan of this track, there is this one part at the beginning that sounds EXACTLY like the band "The Agonist" (search on google, a very hot chick will ensue). Riffs not too memorable, all in all this song I consider a "write off". But I've only had this album in my possession for a week, i'm sure my mind will change with time. The bridge at 2:00 is pretty cool, sounds epic. No breakdowns?
Until the End:
Cool sounding riff to start things off. Goes downhill from there. Once again the breakdowns that ASP is known for are non existent here. Guitar solo at the end isn't anything to write home about either.From So Far Away:
Instrumental track #2. Does not sound at all like ASP, in a good way, shows they're progressing. Great work on guitars here, sweeps in the beginning lead to something much bigger as the song goes on. Great listen w/o the crazy vocals.Misery's Introduction:
Instrumental? Nope, just a prelude track to the last track on the album. A short filler track at best....Guitars --> 8/10 = Great sweep picking, the guitar solo to "Never Again" is face melting, some very catchy/memorable guitar riffs/passages in various songs.Songs for the Damned:
Not the best way to end an album but then again I haven't seen a good ending in a while. The actual end part of the this track is good, with a some what sung portion and a well thought out outro lead. Great job on the clean guitar parts, all in all a good song.
Vocals --> 8/10 = Still brutal even after touring after all these years, but I don't think we'll be hearing the screams like we did in songs like "The True Beast"
Drums --> 7/10 = Not as 'interesting' as the previous album but still some "whoa" moments if you've never heard ASP before.
Overall Appeal --> 5/10 = Nothing like "Price of Existence".
Although this album's production is top notch (whom ever engineered the sound on this album is highly skilled) and there are quite a few amazing metal moments in this album, it can't hold a candle to the previous album by All Shall Perish, "The Price of Existence". This is a great TECHNICAL albums, its way more intricate than most of the garbage you can find out there nowadays hence me reviewing it.
Fun fact: The lead guitarist that's doing all the shredding and writing all the main parts to the songs is 22 years old. And I gotta say he's improving a lot, if he can play Rusty Cooley style 4nps runs at this age....god damn