It’s an embarrassing moment when an adopted one-trick-pony steals the show. It is particularly embarrassing when such an influential band of veteran status fails to meet expectations, of both their fan base and their reputation. Unfortunately, that much can be said about All Shall Perish and their new album, This Is Where It Ends. Upon the release of Hate. Malice. Revenge., ASP became leaders of the deathcore movement, pushing boundaries and setting standards for bands to follow (before The Price of Existence, what deathcore band utilized a cowbell so nicely?) But with much talent comes much responsibility, and with the addition of Francesco Artusato as lead guitarist and Adam Pierce as drummer (formerly of Hiss of Atrocities and Sea of Treachery, respectively), the expectations are higher.
Instead, the new members are used as a crutch for what can only be a severe case of writer’s block. While it’s standard for deathcore outfits to rely almost religiously on the intense drum work, what is interesting is that this album is chock full of fresh guitar riffs which, while impressive and groovy, serve to run the album to the ground. In the end, nothing is left but the feeling that the real All Shall Perish was put on the backburner in favor of the ever-increasing trend and lust for riffage.
While interesting guitar work is rampant on the album, there are times when it gets very monotonous. Clocking in at over 53 minutes, this goes into the running for one of the longest deathcore albums to date (Awaken the Dreamers and The Price of Existence were both around 36 minutes), which gives listener an extra challenge. Pig squeals are all but absent on the record, something that might get mixed reactions among ASP fans, and even though there are some quite unexpected moments (the clean guitar ending “Procession of Ashes” and the long piano outro “In This Life of Pain), the album suffers the same fate as Carnifex’s Hell Chose Me; potential to be very interesting, but there aren’t any red flags that come up when you hear the sixth sweep pattern in a row – it’s subtly boring.
Opening up with the first single, “Divine Illusion”, the lyrics are still focused on political clouts, but also on the more traditional anti-religious tirade customary to the genre. While it’s almost criminal regarding the extent to which they rely on Artusato, it is well-deserved; he is an excellent guitarist, delivering some crushing guitar licks and solos sure to spark a wave of Youtube cover videos. Well-placed breakdowns round out the necessary brutal side of the album, but the production is so glossy that they lose their emotive power. Any intended rage or spite is screened out with the slick over-production, making some of the lines sound almost comical (“We can't stand by as forces build and our lives turn to shit” from “Royalty into Exile” is a prime example)
To be sure, this album was not horrible – in fact, as far as moving away from the stigmas of deathcore involving endless breakdowns and laughable lyrics, This Is Where It Ends does a great job. It’s certainly forgivable for Artusato to shine on this record, but more work could be done to keep the old ASP alive while doing so, instead of letting the one-trick-pony run wild and trample on an already one-dimensional record. Fans can only hope that this is just part of the move-in process, and that the future holds much more in store.
2. There Is Nothing Left
3. Procession of Ashes
4. A Pure Evil
5. Embrace the Curse
7. The Past Will Haunt Us Both
8. Royalty Into Exile
9. My Retaliation
11. The Death Plague
12. In This Life of Pain
All Shall Perish is a deathcore quintet from Oakland, California formed in 2002, and are consistently cited by critics as one of the best bands in the genre. All Shall Perish combines various genres, including death metal, deathgrind and metalcore. Since 2005, All Shall Perish have delivered two records off of Nuclear Blast. The debut album, Hate, Malice, Revenge, was originally released by Japanese record label Amputated Vein Records in 2003. In 2005, it was re-released by Nuclear Blast and since then has received mostly underground acclaim. ... read more