From the first to the last, they absolutely grip it and rip it. This Is Where It Ends is intensely heavy, yet still coyly melodic in parts. The technicality is firing on all cylinders but a little of that exciting, experimental edge and rich layering that featured on Awaken The Dreamers has been left by the wayside. You see, you simply can’t define this band as deathcore and leave it at that. They pick and mix flavours from track-to-track like kids in a candy store. Sure, death and hardcore run through most of their work but there is also a distinct metal edge that hits tech, prog, groove, and thrash all at different times.
One thing is for certain, vocalist Hernan Hermida’s human-suit has split a seam; at times here he’s clearly flashing his green, reptilian skin beneath. C’mon, the man is quite clearly an alien being. No man or woman can make sounds as diverse, rough and bollock-janglingly heavy as these and get away with it. He’s right up there with all the other pink-painted, multi-organed, genii vocalists – Randy Blythe, Mitch Lucker, Guy Kozowyk, [insert your own particular favorites here]. Consider that and then know he repeatedly scowls “We are the dominant species!” during “The Death Plague”. His low, gargled, animal grunts are particularly powerful on tracks like “A Pure Evil” and “Royalty Into Exile” and his scouring pad squeals on “My Retaliation” are enough to turn your brain to mush – “I hope to see you fucking dieeee” – especially when he follows that up by showing off his full range.
The guitars so often split into these two distinct factions, both burble away along threaded arpeggios but one is firing out crisp high- and mid-range melody and the other is laying down dirty, low-end groove – there is a sublime example of this at 3:30 of “A Pure Evil”. They are also there blasting out speeding thrash for “Spineless”, “Embrace The Curse” and the magnificence of “The Past Will Haunt You” – which also features, by the way, an equally addictive barbed riff and pained roar of “How could we be so wroooong?” – oh, their audiences will love yelling that one, fists clenched, at the full moon. The drums are crushing – listen to “Rebirth” for a perfect cross-section of the various speeds and power that Pierce wields. On the downside, the album pacing does feel a tad lop-sided and there is perhaps a little too much of that spleen-slicing groove for my own personal taste, but I’m the sort to go misty-eyed during bits like the softly, softly acoustic outro to “Procession Of Ashes” or the orchestral intro to “In This Life Of Pain”.
Zach Ohren’s steady hand once again has been tasked with the production, and that continuity allows for nothing to dull the impact that the new boys have had. All Shall Perish are back with an album that can easily go toe-to-toe with The Price Of Existence – time will tell if this lasts as long in the memory as that little doozy. The road ahead seems to be straight and smooth once more, and if Hermida’s driving they’ll be once more heading for those glistening lights of the ASP mothership – we’re all doomed, I tells you, doooooomed!
Also online (with samples) @ The New Review = http://thenewreview.net/reviews/all-shall-perish-this-is-where-it-ends