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All Else Fails
Released: 2011, Suicidal Bride Records
I like to support the local (Western Canadian bands) but I was a bit hesitant at first about these guys. They have so many things working against them. First off a pretty lame name. How many “all’ bands are there in the past few years? Currently there are over 50 bands with names that are “All-something-something”. An unfortunately large percentage of the ‘All-something-something” bands are metalcore type bands as well. That’s bad. The primary problem with the band name is that there is an American band called 'All Else Failed' who have been around 10 years! A simple name-check on the internet would avoid the embarrassment (and potential lawsuit) of naming your band something dangerously close to another bands name. Secondly, the whole dark, gothic ‘My Dying Bride’ thing has been done many, many times over. Third, the dual harsh/clean emo-vocal thing sends bad shivers up my spine. Fourth, the whole socially conscious, left-wing nonsense in the lyrics and samples has no place in Metal. Lastly, the whole kitchen-sink approach (punk, rock, metal, orchestral, electronica) rarely works. If that ain’t enough to send ya’ screaming to the exits I don’t know what will.
So why do I keep getting drawn back to THE ORACLE again and again? Normally, this type of album would hit File 13 faster than an Yngwie guitar solo. Ultimately, all the aforementioned strikes against them are pretty inconsequential and thankfully the song-writing quality is very high. All Else Fails do a commendable job for an indie band out of Edmonton, Alberta. Everything is pretty professional. The packaging is great, the band looks good, sounds good and the production on the disc is top-notch.
This 12 track, roughly hour long album has lots of great music and individual performances. Starting with a haunting and melodious introduction consisting of orchestral tones, the album launches with a fairly high degree of intensity and maintains the pace throughout, although the album does get bogged down with the long-spoken word samples about ‘stop the nukes’ and ‘save the planet’ etc. There are many distinct and enjoyable musical components to this album. They do use the ‘kitchen sink’ method but they do it well, blended the dissimilar style efficiently and effectively. If you have to try to label it, I’d say it’s a bit of thrash, a bit of death, some metalcore for a fairly innovative sound.
Maybe I’m giving these guys more of a break than they deserve, perhaps I have a soft spot for young, upcoming local talent, but either way this is a decent album and an open-minded metaller could do worse than to check out THE ORACLE. Keep an open mind and give it a try. I did and I’m glad I did.
2. This World In Flames
3. The Twilight Of Mankind
4. The Burden Of Life
6. The House At The End Of The World
7. Monster Eats The Pilot
8. The Oracle
10. Obsidian Walls
11. The World In Flames (Acoustic)
12. Robots!! KOLTG
Barrett Klesko-Vocals, Guitar, programming