All Shall Perish
The Price of Existence

Apparently seeing enough in this California Deathcore act to re-issue their Amputated Vein debut Hate. Malice. Revenge, Nuclear Blast must have known they were on to something special. They most certainly were, as I can safely say, The Price of Existence is a massive improvement from breakdown heavy singularity of the solid the debut, and certainly will be one of my top three albums of 2006, if not my favorite. No questions.

While at its base level a mere death core record that combines the expected mix of hefty breakdowns and death metal bite, there’s ‘something’ that this revamped line-up has hit on that creates a virtually unstoppable force of superbly crafted melody, brutality and sheer head banging, enjoy-ability I haven’t heard since Dying Fetus’s Destroy the Opposition.

Though certainly not a major line-up change, the addition of former Gunmetal Grey vocalist Eddie Hermida who provide ample low end growls and strained screams and guitarist Chris Storey (along with ex Antagony guitarist Ben Orum) seems to have ‘clicked’ on The Price of Existence. The most tangible effect is from Storey, whose frequent air guitar inducing, arpeggio heavy solos give the songs an air of surprising harmony amid the brutish rumbling, starting right away with opener ‘Eradication’ and accenting already superb tracks like personal favorite ‘We Hold These Truths’, ‘The Day of Justice’ and with some flat out killer guitar work. Then there is some rather somber melody that surfaces for ‘Better Living Through Catastrophe’, the Vehemence like ‘The Prisoner of War’, and sober closer ‘The Last Relapse’, that show All Shall Perish have matured beyond compare.

Of course, the backbone of this release of the massive breakdowns of which there are plenty, even in the above melodious tracks, but look no further than ‘Wage Slaves’ (compete with cowbell intro), ‘There is No Business to be Done on a Dead Planet’, ‘Promises’ and the utterly devastating ‘The True Beast’ and for some truly heavy, bass dropping, speaker wrecking chaos, once again perfected by producer Zach Ohren (Embrace the End, The Taste of Blood, Antagony, Animosity).

The Price of Existence is one of the most complete and satisfying albums from a young, ‘new’ band I’ve heard in a loooooog time, maybe since Vehemence’s God Was Created. Though most may be put off by the overall ‘deathcore’ tag and ensuing image/scene stigma that comes with it, those wanting a truly visceral, heavy and enjoyable metal experience would be well served to grab this album.

Great fucking stuff.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
August 7th, 2006

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