Released: 2006, Nuclear Blast Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
When All Shall Perish was forced to drop off the Hate Eternal/Krisiun/Into Eternity tour just days before they played Vancouver, my heart sank because I had been digging their debut, HATE.MALICE.REVENGE, for several months prior and was psyched to see them tear things up live, too. That album’s blend of thrash, grind, death and metalcore was tailor-made for my favorite styles. The Oakland-based group clearly had a flair for blastbeats, breakdowns, brutality and deftly-played melodic guitar runs that made for one tasty cocktail. With a new vocalist and lead guitarist, All Shall Perish have rolled out their sophomore release, THE PRICE OF EXISTENCE, and demonstrate their superior musical growth. Endless touring has exposed the band to numerous influences and that shines through in the new music. Fans of Slayer, Suffocation, Napalm Death, Chimaira, Dying Fetus, Misery Index, Despised Icon and Heaven Shall Burn can all revel in the brutal majestic soundscape of THE PRICE OF EXISTENCE.
New vocalist Hernan “Eddie” Hermina brings an arsenal of screams, growls, shrieks, gurgles and roars to the band, all of which he utilizes to full effect. The other new member this time out is lead guitarist Chris Storey, whose complex solos and powerful leads wind through the songs and give them some extra heft and dazzle. “Eradication” boats a pummeling concoction of gang vocals, whirlwind technical guitar riffs and the dynamic vocal range of Hermina to plant the seed of aggression early. “Wage Slaves” carries on with jackhammer double bass from Matt Kuykendall and—you guessed it, cowbell! The blasting middle section coupled with Hermina’s gurgled vocals teeter on the technical spazz-core of The Red Chord but once the incinerating breakdown kicks in, everything gets squashed under its weight. Despised Icon/Ion Dissonance-type deathcore is at the root of “Day of Justice,” while the blastbeats and skronky, off-kilter grind riffing of “There Is No Business To Be Done On A Dead Planet” is not far removed from what The Dillinger Escape Plan is doing. The tempo is slowed somewhat for “Better Living Through Catastrophe” and “Prisoner of War,” with Storey executing some stellar fretwork but Hermina’s blackened death vocals are simply bone-chilling. “We Hold These Truths” is a speedy slice of metalcore with a devastating breakdown that solidifies the band’s mosh-ready assault but the instrumental “Interlude” and epic-sounding “The Last Relapse,” with its slow-building intro and choir-like chants, show the band is able to shift gears and do more than just level everything in its path with apocalyptic fury.
Brutal, groovy, technical, aggressive and melodic can all be used to describe their new album but where All Shall Perish ultimately succeeds is in the fact that they are able to do it all so effortlessly and smoothly. THE PRICE OF EXISTENCE is an amazing album from start to finish. At no point does anything sound forced or unnatural despite the many angles taken by the music and that diversity opens up countless doors for the band. Fans of Hatebreed can get down with Skinless fans, Cannibal Corpse fans can swirl their heads with the neck-snapping followers of Slayer and the seekers of Suffocation’s brutality can share the floor with tech-core newbies Despised Icon…all sharing a common bond and enjoyment of the music of All Shall Perish. These guys are young, talented and not afraid to cross metal genres, so given those factors, THE PRICE OF EXISTENCE should take the band to the next level of the metal hierarchy and certainly earns them my vote for best death metal album of 2006.
KILLER KUTS: “Eradication,” “Wage Slaves,” “There Is No Business To Be Done On A Dead Planet,” “Better Living Through Catastrophe,” “Prisoner of War,” “We Hold These Truths,” “The Last Relapse”