All Shall Perish - _This Is Where It Ends_
(Nuclear Blast, 2011)
by: Aly Hassab El Naby (8 out of 10)
When I first laid eyes on the cover art chosen by All Shall Perish for their fourth album, an instant sense of familiarity hit me and had me asking myself "where have I seen this before?" Of course listening to the album got my attention completely off the cover art, but after the storm that is _This Is Where It Ends_ had passed, it hit me. This cover art bears a striking resemblance to that of Misery Index's _Traitors_. Both albums depict a man chained and being assaulted from behind by two entities: a religious one and a corporate one. Of course the underlying topics are very similar, but All Shall Perish has developed a lot as a band to be able to pull off something that distinguishes itself from any pack.

Of course breakdowns have become a standard affix when one mentions deathcore, just like olive oil with Greek food. But All Shall Perish shell out a dizzying collection of guitar solos that completely counteract any effects of tediousness that may arise from the breakdowns. In their own way, they are presenting an album that combines various elements of metal, but with a personal touch. The blast beat on "Embrace the Curse", for example, is quite similar to the technique used by Mike Smith from Suffocation. The good thing is that, with _This Is Where It Ends_ coming in as studio album number four, All Shall Perish sound comfortable enough in their own skin, and they can let their influences peer out a bit without anyone accusing them of being copycats.

So if you're excited to listen to this record whose name is a bit thought provoking, you'll instantly realize that sharp, precise and just damn brilliant riffing is looking more and more like something that All Shall Perish is getting a degree in. Tracks such as the amazingly melodic "Royalty in Exile", the crushing "Spineless" and the more spacious "Procession of Ashes" are prime examples of the band's continuing improvement. "There Is Nothing Left" combines the stapled breakdown sound that we've become used to, but adds an impressive guitar solo to raise the stakes quite a few notches.

"A Pure Evil" is down-tuned to the level of a7a and has a transition that will get anyone moshing in-situ and then seizing up when the guitar solo comes up afterwards. My favorite piece, however, would have to be "Rebirth". It's got the typical elements of The Black Dahlia Murder, but instantly surprises with a clean segment which in turn explodes into a full blown massacre of razor-sharp, tremolo picked riffing and machine gun blasting. It's abrasive, aggressive and utterly ugly... exactly how I like my metal.

This music is not for the faint of heart and it was never intended to be. All Shall Perish were always very serious about the brutality of their sound, and I think _This Is Where It Ends_ makes that absolutely clear. It quite easily puts any other deathcore release from 2011 to shame and it goes a long way towards cementing All Shall Perish as the runaway champions of a genre that's been plagued with mediocrity for a long time. Now go forth and mosh to the sweet, slow and down-tuned chugging of the breakdowns.


(article published 22/8/2011)

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