All Shall Perish - This is Where it Ends
This is probably the album I've looked forward to most this year. I really dug the 2 songs they streamed before the album was released, so I was even more so excited. It's been 3 years since 'Awaken the Dreamers' was released, so I had a feeling this would be a great album. I predicted right. This is without a doubt my favorite album of 2011 so far (bring on the hate, I ain't kerr). It is brutal all the way through, with some amazing solos, sick drumming, and some really technically solid guitar + bass riffs. My only criticisms are the production isn't quite as clear as 'Awaken The Dreamers', and Eddie is using more screams than death metal growls. I really like his screams, but I'm more of a growl guy. But with that being said, this album really shows what a great singer he is. I'll do a short song-by-song breakdown.
1) Divine Illusion - The first song streamed before the released. Fucking sick song. It's as brutal and technical as it comes, and features an absolutely amazing solo by Francesco. Really solid all the way around, vocals, guitars, bass, drums, everything. Nothing weak to this song. 9.5/10
2) There is Nothing Left - Kind of disappointed they went with this track to do a video. It's probably the song that best has the chance to have some success for the masses, which is probably why. I just don't dig it. It's too melodic for me, and nothing sticks out. Vocals are decent, but everything else sorta drags. Don't dislike it, but I've found myself skipping ahead w/ most listens. 5/10
3) Procession of Ashes - Was nervous when I first heard this song, as it opens w/ an unimpressive clean guitar. However, it quickly turns into a great song. It's not nearly as brutal as much of the album, the vocals and rythym are both great. I'm suprised they didn't use this one for a video. Great track. 7.5/10
4) A Pure Evil - One of my favorites from the album. Among the top 3 songs as far as pure brutalness and heaviness. Very fast rythyms and drumming, complete w/ 2 sick solos. Another great one. 8/10
5) Embrace The Curse - Pretty average number. Much of the track is a very generic sounding deathcore, with several average breakdowns. Some very solid "lead" rhthyms save this track. 5.5/10
6) Spineless - Opening reminds me of Dying Fetus. The rythym in this song actually kills. Groovy, heavy and brutal. Also has a really complex song structures : lot's of riffs and tempo changes. Solid double bass drumming and blast beats too. One of the few songs to feature the dreaded pig squeal. I dig Eddie's way of doing them, though. 7.5/10
7) The Past Will Haunt Us Both - The closest to a stinker. It's really melodic, so I'm sure some will dig it, but I don't. Nothing at all jumps out at me. A lot like track #2. Pretentiously melodic in some parts. 4/10
8) Royalty Into Exile - Very cool opening rythym, but fizzles off shortly thereafter. Average until around 2:00 where 2 awesome breakdowns lead into a fucking awesome solo. This track probably has Eddie's most brutal lyrics on the album. Low, deep, and dirty. 7/10
9) My Retaliation - Nothing spectactular, nothing bad. Really solid vocals and some cool rythyms, but sorta generic-sounding deathcore in parts. 6/10
10) Rebirth - Brutal drumming highlights this track. Double bass absolutely kills. There is a short clean guitar bridge that blasts into a brutal rythym that would scare most normal people. Track ends w/ a very unique and original section of varied melody. Kinda weirdly phrased, but that's the best way I can put it. 7.5/10
11) The Death Plague - This one featured Alex of Despised Icon. Probably the most straightforward death metal song on the album. Not much core at all. Some amazing riffs and bass work. Unfortunately, Mike's bass isn't audible in much of the album, but it is here, and it showcases his talent. Straight forward, kick you in the balls death metal. 8/10
12) In This Life of Pain - An average clean guitar/piano intro turns into some absolutely brutal, phenomenal, insert any positive adjective here death metal. Rythym is insanely fast, then slows down to a 'Hate.Malice.Revenge' chug. Sounds truly awesome. Very complex song structure w/ a ton of different riffs. A truly awesome track. 9/10
Overall Grade : 8/10
Yes, there are three songs I don't care much for, but this is great album. Some of these songs IMO rival some of their best work. Of course, I don't think All Shall perish will ever outdo 'The Price of Existence', but this album is better than 'Awaken the Dreamers'. I'm hoping this album sells great, which hopefully will lead to a headlining tour for them.