All Else Failed
Archetype

Where to start? All Else Failed have been destroying the Philadelphia, PA hardcore/metal scene with their patented chaos – encased in subtle melodic hymns – for over four years. And now the year 2001 sees the release of the band’s second (and finest) full-length called Archetype on Now Or Never Records.

After having what seemed to be difficult line-up changes (losing their drummer), All Else Failed have found the perfect combination of in-depth technicality and spiteful brutality with in their current line-up. Dave Klenk has a unique mastery of the drum set and wields the wooden stakes with a ferocious tenacity. When summing up All Else Failed’s overall sound, fuse Coalesce (Give Them Rope-era) and an ISIS level of intricacy – also add prominent sythesized samples and melodic hardcore and that gives you some inkling of what’s happening on Archetype.

All Else Failed’s vocal executions consist of mid-pitched harrowing screams – vocalist Luke Muir has a set of pipes like no other amongst his respective peers. Adding to the uncompromising nature of Muir’s bloodcurdling stridor, the emotionally sung passages are deceiving in their serene nature. His sweet serenades of twisted depression and agony wreak havoc on the senses, leaving the listener’s mind in shambles. Despite the frantic and harshly screamed vocal delivery, every word is clearly enunciated – the clarity is mesmerizing as is the depressive undertones of the lyrics. Luke Muir’s lyrical expressions are very unique and take hold of the listener after only one listen, leaving his tales of terror ingrained in their psyche.

The twin guitar and bass assaults find themselves sounding incredibly explosive while co-existing together with delicate ease, allowing each individual riff to be thoroughly felt. Every previous release of All Else Failed’s was amazing in its own right. But after being exposed to the flawless production (Ben Weinman – The Dillinger Escape Plan) and sheer magnitude of the material that makes up Archetype, it is hard to look back on those recordings and find the same impeccable sound and mastery. Nine new songs and four re-recorded and revamped versions of songs from In Times of Desperation CDEP and the In My Gods Eye record round out this astounding record.

Now Or Never Records are on a winning streak and with the release of Archetype, being possibly the most devastating record to come out this year, are sure to make important headway in the worlds of metal/hardcore. Once described to me as the soundtrack to suicide, All Else Failed have shed their skin of despair and become the inevitable scalding archetype of revenge and malice. Such a devastating transformation was bound to happen.

Archetype is no longer the soundtrack to suicide, but the sound of determination, ready to batter you with baseball bats wrapped in razorblades. But, “we both saw this coming…this is what we get.”

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Drew Juergens
June 19th, 2001

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