Artist: All Shall Perish
Title: “Awaken The Dreamers”
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 9/16/2008
Before I even begin the commentary about this Oakland, California Deathcore band known as All Shall Perish, I need those readers who might dismiss the group based on their genre to sit back, relax and read the article anyway. The reason for this request is based on the band transcending mere genre specific labels with their follow-up to “The Price Of Existence” for on “Awaken The Dreamers” we find intelligent Death Metal brutality seamlessly blended in with the “core” attitude and some over the top riffing and musicianship to make this a fan of many enthusiasts of the Extreme Metal demographic. Right off the bat the band shows that they have achieved levels of growth from the previous effort and yet not lost any of their overall heaviness and brutality since. There are a lot of different feels to absorb and it’s a tooth breaking affair when “When Life Meant More” begins and lures you into the bands grasp. The guitar work and drumming are exemplary as both musicians are playing at often break neck speeds. Kudos to Chris Story and Matt Kuykendall for their hard work.
The band is not all about extreme demonstrations of technical prowess and growls as we find on “Songs For The Damned” and “Black Gold Reign” and while these two tracks will leave you gasping for breath, the listener will find themselves with some short reprieve during the interludes that are bound to make many realize this is not a run of the mill group. Such numbers are “The Ones We Left Behind” and “Memories Of A Glass Sanctuary” and it is with these tunes that you learn just how diverse the guys in the band are as players. Good work in my opinion and by including this kind of melody will hopefully set a trend in other bands releases and find them offering up difference as opposed to just churning out the same old stuff time and time again. The album only runs a little over thirty five minutes and yet when it was playing the ferocity and delivery being doled out makes it seem as though it is a little bit longer. Truly they have surpassed “The Price Of Existence” with Awaken The Dreamers” and will easily impress the fans that took them in that time around while securing a better foothold in the genre for the new fans to climb aboard as well. If they are as tight as the album in the live sense then I predict that we shall watch the group climb in status very fast.
The band is fronted by Hernan Hermida whose growls can go right through you while Ben Orum is on rhythm guitar and Mike Tiner is on bass. Fans of consistency will enjoy the fact about Zach Orun being in the production and mixing chair for this album after having performed his magic on the positively received “The Price Of Existence”. Lyrics are included on the fold out insert which when opened up becomes a poster of the album art. It’s the perfect thing to bring to shows and have the band sign so you can frame it for all to see. They also include a bonus DVD that we shall go over for your interest.
DVD: Tales From The Road; Live Footage; The Making of “Awaken The Dreamers”.
*** Continuing the trend of including a bonus DVD with new releases, the new All Shall Perish includes one as well and it’s a great way to spend a little time with the band as they travel on the road and pretty much torment each other and demonstrate the pitfalls of life on the road. This isn’t Journey or KISS with bus loads of crew and assistants but instead five or seven guys in a van pulling their gear in a trailer from state to state and often finding themselves doing a second gig later on in the evening somewhere else in the vicinity. I like when they include this stuff and can advise the fans to smile big when they see the bands using handheld video cameras because you never know where your face will show up if it catches you. Highlights of this segment were the NYC road trek and how the band deals with bathroom needs while driving and how the drummer seems to need a new kit based on his being held together with glue and duct tape. Viewers will find that life on the road is less than stellar as the band performs in what appears to be a living room, a skate park, and in a desolate part of New Jersey, often on the bill with some eight to ten other groups. We also get some live footage and a “making of” feature about the new album that many might find interesting.
The band has surely upped the game of this brand of music so if you like your stuff super heavy and fast but insist on it employing levels of difference not commonly associated with the format then All Shall Perish’s “Awaken The Dreamers” is a release that you will listen to for a long, long time.
1. When Life Meant More
2. Black Gold Reign
4. For The Ones We Left Behind
5. Awaken The Dreamers
6. Memories of a Glass Sanctuary
7. Stabbing to Purge Dissimulation
8. Gagged, Bound, Shelved, and Forgotten
9. From So Far Away
10. Until The End
11. Misery’s Introduction
12. Songs For The Damned
Official Website: www.allshallperish.com