All Shall Perish
Awaken the Dreamers

There’s been somewhat of a negative buzz about this album for sometime time now, so I thought, as a huge fan of The Price of Existence (my #1 album of 2006) I’d better look into it and see what all the negativity was about and see if it was warranted based on a couple of tracks at the band’s myspace page.

Folks, Awaken the Dreamers is to All Shall Perish is The Black album was to Metallica. That’s to say it will divide fans, expose the band to a larger fan base, but at the same time, it’s also a brave and trend ignoring album that the band wanted to do. Yes, it’s more commercial. Yes, it’s got more ballads and interludes. Yes, it has less breakdowns, less blast beats and more melody and clean vocals. However, like The Black album, it’s expertly composed, confidently played and has enough All Shall Perish-isms (sweep arpeggios, a few breakdowns, etc) and standout songs to still have appeal to the unwashed spin kicking masses, though there’s a lot fewer opportunities to do so. For a reference point, take “The Last Relapse” from The Price of Existence. As this album seems to take off where that song left off as far as a more controlled, melodic, and introspective approach.

On the down side to most fans will be the fact that, of the 13 songs, 4 some sort of interlude, ballad, or instrumental (“The Ones We Left Behind”, “Memories Of A Glass Sanctuary”, “From So Far Away”, “Misery’s Introduction”), that are sure to turn off most of the band’s deathcore fanbase. Again, like The Black album, though the ballads may be the most controversial, attention getting facets of the album, and ultimately people will overlook the truly brilliant songs that are also on the album. While fans were bitching about “The Unforgiven” and “Nothing Else Matters”, they were overlooking killer tracks like “Don’t Tread On Me”, “Of Wolf and Man” and such.

In the case of Awaken the Dreamers, the album has some truly killer but atypical tracks. For example, the simply killer, arpeggio filled “Black Gold Reign” might be my favorite ASP track behind “We Hold These Truths”, and signals the use of the much ballyhooed Rob Halford-ish croons. “Never Again” is a churning slow burner before the much maligned title track kicks in, a track I actually think is one of the albums strongest and more epic moments even with its clean chorus climax, as it shows a much more mature and open minded All Shall Perish. The busy “Until the End” is deathcore gone prog metal and somber closer “Songs For the Damned” is yet another slower, clean vocal laced, more controlled All Shall Perish spreading their talented wings above and beyond breakdowns and ripped off At the Gates riffs. Fear not though die-hard fans, tracks like “When Life Meant More”, “Stabbing to Purge Dissimulation”, “Gagged, Bound, Shelved and Forgotten” are blistering, more typical, expected All Shall Perish, but frankly, with the saturation of the genre, they are a dime a dozen tracks.

As you’d expect everything is wrapped in a tight, polished Zach Ohren production making the new elements easier to swallow for die-hards. But it won’t change the fact this is an ambitious album that will challenge the bands fan base. Is Awaken the Dreamers as good as The Price of Existence? I can say ‘no’ for right now, but not without some degree of doubt because it’s a superb album in its own right and essentially a different beast from The Price of Existence  from band that’s not afraid to throw a wrench into the works of their genres tried an tested elements. For that I have to give All Shall Perish my respect, just not a slot on my year end list just yet, as this is definitely a grower, thats still growing with each listen

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
September 12th, 2008

Comments

  1. Commented by: AARONIUS

    I haven’t ever heard these guys but your review makes me interested.

    I’m a little leary of the whole deathcore scene right now though. I read several reviews praising the new Acacia Strain disc and after picking it up I was tremendously underwhelmed.

    It’s nothing of course compared to my disappointment in the new Metallica but that’s a debate for another day.


  2. Commented by: Red

    Erik, you have just helped me decide whether or not I will be checking this one out. Unfortunately, I think I’ll pass this time around….


  3. Commented by: Staylow

    Never could get into these guys. I’ve checked out each album, and while not terrible, it’s just not my thing. This one didn’t change things either.

    Honestly, right now I can’t seem to get into or care about anything ‘core’ related or breakdown laced, instead I’ve been obsessing over alot or technical and/or prog stuff.

    The only core-related album I’m looking forward to right now is the new Unearth. Oh yeah – All That Remains new album sucks too.


  4. Commented by: swampthang

    Hate Malice Revenge was sweet


  5. Commented by: ben

    thanks for the honest review! Really enjoyed reading it.

    Ben
    all shall perish


  6. Commented by: AdamChildress

    I really enjoyed the songs they put on their myspace, and I am really looking forward to this album.

    I think they are one of the most talented metal bands out there, and I think they definitely worked hard to where they are today.

    :)


  7. Commented by: swampthang

    ohh great liferuiner review all over again


  8. Commented by: Desperado

    I actually enjoy this cd much to my suprise.I’ve tried to get into them in the past but just couldn’t “get” it I suppose,this one caught me in the beginning.The whole cd is great,but the beginning songs are my fav.I enjoy the sort of dynamic approach to songwriting this album possesses,as most of the scene as it were is wearing on my nerves.

    Nice review.


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