I absolutely loved the first two ASP albums. Sheer brutality, and each song distilled that brutality into a sick breakdown towards the end of the song. Perhaps a bit predictable, but so sweet to my ears. This album moves in a new direction, and several have appreciated the change of pace. I, on the other hand, was disappointed. Like my grandpappy says, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I loved the formula of the previous albums, and this departure leaves me underwhelmed. I feel like every song is a compilation of lighting fast guitar scales, up and down, up and down, never solidifying into the sick breakdowns that made me love this band in the first place. I understand the perspective that bands should push the envelope and try new things, but I would rather listen to the first two albums a thousand times than this one twice in a row. Yeah, it’s different, but at no point do I find myself baring my teeth and bobbing my head, which happens with just about every other track they’ve made.
2008 album Awaken The Dreamers by All Shall Perish includes DVD. Awaken the Dreamers was produced and mixed once again by Zach Ohren (Decrepit Birth, Odious Mortem, Light This City), capturing the unbridled energy of their live shows more effectively than ever. There is even a face melting guitar solo from guitar hero Rusty Cooley on the track ’From So Far Away.’ Vocalist Hernan Hermida proves once again why he was choosen as the bands vocalist, showcasing his earth shattering range and giving the performance of his career. Lead guitarist Chris Strorey seems to have single handedly brought melodic and shred guitar to the genre, much as James Murphy (Death, Obituary) did for traditional Death Metal in the early 90’s. Ben Orum shows why he is one of metals most talented riff writers today, going from super technical riffing to the most gut wrenching groove imaginable. Powerhouse drummer Matt Kuykendall is no slouch either and will soon be ranked among extreme metal’s elite players. In short, All Shall Perish has proven with Awaken the Dreamers that they are no trend, and can only most accurately be described as trend setters. MEMBERS:Hernan Hermida – Vocals, Ben Orum – Rhythum Guitar, Mike Tiner – Bass, Chris Storey – Lead Guitar, Matt Kuykendall – Drums
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The thing that stood out the most for me on this release was the amazing vocal work of Hernan Hermida on every track. It has been mentioned by other reviewers, but it really is staggering how many styles of screams Hermida brings to the table. So many heavy metal vocalists only drone on in one style of screaming from track to track and as you switch between songs, it all starts to blend together. But Hermida is able to conjure up some of the most intense and suitable screams in every situation. This is some of the best vocal work I have heard in years from a metal frontman.
Besides the vocals, this album is very good overall. For me, it seems to have taken a significant “hardcore” turn from their last release, but they do it in such a way that it enhances the music instead of just turning everything into one big breakdown. The guitar work is really intricate and beautiful.
I recommend this CD to anyone who appreciates good heavy metal, but especially to any aspiring heavy metal vocalists.
I always approach a new album by a band that writes a masterpiece trepidly: “The Price of All Existence” was such an album, and knowing that ASP picked up a new guitarist also made me skeptical… but I was pleasantly surprised.
Such as how *mellow* some sections of this album actually are; ASP is demonstrating that they indeed have a deep musical depth. They weave this mellowness in and out throughout the disc, it’s not simply an afterthought single track tacked on just to show “Hey, we can be mellow too,” they make it a strong component to virtually each song. I always thought these guys had a classical streak: “Better Living Through Catastrophe” off their last album recreated Carl Orff’s seminal classical masterpiece, “Carmina Burana,” though whether they or fellow metal band Vehemence did it first I leave to you guys to debate.
“The Price of All Existence” was a brutal tour de force in crushing technicality… this album still picks up where that one left off, but the guys are becoming more atmospheric. The surprise track for me was track 3, Never…Again. It is one of the most dark songs they’ve put together; very sinister.
ASP, has been listening to Herman Li in their off-season; there is a couple moments of nintendo-riffing reminiscent of Dragonforce here, which as an aficionado of a broad variety of metal, I find both exciting and refreshing to watch a cultural shift within the scene.
This is without a doubt, the deepest guitar work they’ve done, and vocals are knocked out of the park–there isn’t a style of vocal not tried with the exception of prog/power metal vocals. Black, death, hardcore, Manson-esque industrial, whispers, clean singing…
This album earns a 5 star review as well but for different reasons than the last…
WTF are you reading for, buy it!
While this outing may not be as br00tal as their last release, it is still brutal enough to keep this metal head happy. This shall I dare say is their progressive record? A lot of experimentalism is going on around this record, most of the songs are down to mid-tempo with just a few skull crushers. Hernan’s vocal ability is especially on display here sans the pig squeals we’ve all grown to love but it doesn’t hurt the over all experience. All Shall Perish is still one of the heavy weight contenders in the death-core genre and don’t think for one second that they’re going to get dethroned anytime soon.
I love their last album and this album is no different. These guys play very focused and precise metal. Every member seems to be well schooled at their instrument. To some it might not be experimental or crazy enough, but this isn’t your spazz freakout mathcore band. This is a band that at it’s core is very influenced by classical composing. Every part is meticulously crafted on purpose and well written. Some of the guitar work is unbelievable. You’ll just need to hear for yourself. If you take the time to get past the ultra heavy textures you’ll begin to hear the intricate melodies hidden within. Great album, great band. I love these guys.