All Shall Perish – This Is Where It Ends (2011)

Posted: July 18, 2011 in Music

Hailing from Oakland, California, All Shall Perish has quickly vaulted to the top of the deathcore scene since their release of 2005’s Hate. Malice. Revenge. Since then, the band has gained a ton of attention from both fans and critics alike. The sound combines the normal deathcore elements of blastbeats and loud, palm-muted power chords with a fair amount of technical and progressive metal influences along the way. You would think it would be these subtle influences that make them stand out from the rest of the (oversaturated) deathcore scene.

But lead growler Eddie Hermida might have something to say about that. His powerful voice and Charles Manson-ish looks have led to a near-communal following of scene kids that hang on every word of his political tirades on facism and corporate control. Hermida’s energy and influence could fill Spahn’s Movie Ranch a hundred times over, as more and more fans continue to listen with each album release.

Frankly, if the lost, misguided metal youth of today are going to listen to something, it might as well be Hermida and All Shall Perish, as the messages are usually intelligent (albeit brutal) lessons on everything that is wrong with the world today. It may not be religion, but maybe it’s something better. It’s genuine and thought-provoking, and where faith has a tendency to be shrouded in mystery, All Shall Perish leave nothing to the imagination as the message and the music are delivered straight to the face with ferocious tenacity.

The latest chapter to this gospel is the band’s fourth release This Is Where It Ends. After a whirlwind of lineup changes over the last three years, it appears the band has finally settled in as a unit, and have delivered their strongest effort to date. The songwriting and instrumentation are second to none, and while the lyrical focus has shifted a bit, it still delivers a profound and absolute message.

The political views have taken the back seat to a far more personal, positive statement. The lesson this time surrounds believing in yourself, staying strong, and facing all challenges that come your way – again, not a bad set of standards to be giving the youth of today.

But I’m not one of those kids. I’m a 40-plus year old cynic who just happens to be an agnostic asshole. So for me, I had to dig a little deeper below the surface to find something to enjoy about this album, but it honestly didn’t take too many shovel’s full to unearth the excellence presented here. The band’s two newest members, Adam Pierce (drums) and Francesco Artusato (lead guitar) inject a new level of energy and skill that you can’t help but notice. The drumming is enthusiastic, defined and crisp, and Artusato’s technical skill adds a new dimension to these songs. Sure, it’s all second-fiddle to the glow of Hermida, but for the first time in four albums, it actually seems like the unit is working together at full force to create cohesive songs that showcase all aspects of the band.

Standout tracks include the opener “Divine Illusion,” the more straightforward “Procession of Ashes,” the thrash-heavy “Embrace the Curse,” the technically-progressive “Spineless,” and the mosh-inducing “My Retaliation.” Honestly, though, nothing misses the mark here by much. In fact the only major flaw to this album has nothing to do with the music at all. Here comes the cynical asshole…

Eddie Hermida

I’m not going to let it influence my rating for this album – as I try to judge records just on the music – but I have a bone to pick with Nuclear Blast Records that has been bugging me since Cradle of Filth’s last release. I understand it’s the job of a (joke of a) major label to promote their acts. After all, record sales means money for the label – which is the bottom line. That said, enough is enough. All Shall Perish isn’t the first band they have tried to “sell-out” with incessant over-advertising and ridiculous levels of marketing. Just ask In Flames and Children of Bodom, two of the many bands who left the greedy label for greener pastures with their credibility barely intact. If the album is good, it will inevitably be a success. I don’t need to be force-fed the fact at every news, music and clothing website I visit. “Special Editions” of their artist’s albums made exclusively for Hot Topic is not only lame, but totally turns the public off. Part of a label’s job is to maintain a band’s integrity, and Nuclear Blast seems have to forgotten this part of the job description. Enough about that, though.

This Is Where It Ends just might be where it all starts anew for All Shall Perish. The new members combined with a ever-so-slightly new sound might just be what takes this band beyond the apex of success, and into the ranks of legendary acts of our time. But with their musical skill and Hermida’s number of apostles growing by the day, it was only going to be a matter of time anyway…

9/10

Tracklist:
01 – Divine Illusion
02 – There Is Nothing Left
03 – Procession Of Ashes
04 – A Pure Evil
05 – Embrace The Curse
06 – Spineless
07 – The Past Will Haunt Us Both
08 – Royalty Into Exile
09 – My Retaliation
10 – Rebirth
11 – The Death Plague
12 – In This Life Of Pain
13 – Nobleza En Exilio (Spanish version of “Royalty Into Exile”)

http://www.amazon.com/This-Where-Ends-Shall-Perish/dp/B0051ERGZ2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1311038479&sr=8-1

MySpace: Link | Wiki: Link

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