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!