Review Summary: The Price of Existence comes charging towards you at 100 mph and never lets up. All Shall Perish deliver one of the most intense metal albums of 2006. However, one can only listen to so many breakdowns in one album.Intensity
: great energy, strength, concentration, vehemence, etc., as of activity, thought, or feeling.
All Shall Perish
really like being intense. Intense to the point where you almost feel uneasy listening to them. There are few albums I have that wear me out while I listen to them, and The Price of Existence
is definitely one of them. I can only think of a few instances where this album lets the listener breathe, and the rest of the time the Californian quintet is pummeling your ear-drums with brutal down tuned riffs, chugging breakdowns, and mindless shred wankery. The Price of Existence
shouldn’t be taken likely, but it’s one of the most vigorous albums I’ve come across in the past year.
First off, these guys love their breakdowns; a lot, and almost to the point where you get tired of them. While most of them are incredibly heavy and are just fun to listen to, by the end of the album you’ve just heard too many. I know there have been times in the album where I’d wish I was hearing a guitar solo, technical bridge, or just something new. While songs like “Day of Justice”
and “There Is No Business to Be Done on a Dead Planet”
may have some of the greatest breakdowns I’ve ever come across, others are simply trite and played out.
The times when All Shall Perish really shines are when you can really get a feel for both guitar players. The Price of Existence
not only gives the listener a hardcore/metalcore feel, but also a tech-death feel in songs like “Eradication”
, where there are incredibly difficult twin guitar parts, and also probably the most tasteful solo on the entire album. Most of the album is loaded with guitar riffs similar to that of the death metal and thrash scene, which will appeal to all of the head bangers out there. “Better Living Through Catastrophe”
is a great example, where both guitarists combine all of the genres mentioned above flawlessly into one of the album’s highlights. As far as bass goes, it’s nonexistent for the majority of the album, save for a few moments when you’ll be hit with an interesting tapping line that adds a nice feel to the song. As it is with most modern metal albums, the bass could afford to be turned up a bit. The drums are also one of the most entertaining parts on the album, as they’re extremely fast, unrelenting, and even groovy at times. They fit in nicely with each riff and always provide a solid backing for the endless savagery.
While I love intense and angry music, I do enjoy some somber parts. That way, it allows for the heavy parts to seem that much more abrasive. The problem with this album is that the album is heavy for almost the entire time, except for “Greyson”
which was a great addition to add in the middle of the album, giving myself and others time to wind down before this brutal roller coaster continues on its journey. A couple other softer parts would have been nice to hear throughout the album. The vocals were also a set back. They’re indecipherable, and some of the high-pitched shrieks really start to wear on me after a while. I’d like to be able to understand at least some of the lyrics next time.
Overall, I enjoyed this album. The Price of Existence
offers plenty to the listener, bringing the worlds of death metal and hardcore together to create a melting pot of pain, brutality, and technical music. “Day of Justice”
is a contender for the best metal song of 2006, and several others on the album don’t lag far behind, like "The Last Relapse"
. Musically, it’s extremely heavy, intricate, and well organized, though there are just too many breakdowns. The vocals are also unclear and hard on the ears. This band is on the right track to becoming great, and this album is worth your time if you’re into either death metal or hardcore.
Thor’s Top 3 from this album:
Day of Justice
Better Living Through Catastrophe
We Hold These Truths