Review Summary: All Shall Perish delivers with their hateful, malicious, and vengeful debut. A must-have for fans of the genre.
Its somewhat bizarre that when a band more or less "blows up" in their genre, so few followers decide to go back and enjoy their early stuff. The debut CD of pretty much any band is almost always their most heartfelt. Hate, Malice, Revenge
is no different. This album packs a certain punch that few CD's can seem to ever deliver. During the time of its original 2001 release on Amputated Vein the members were between the ages of 17-23. I find that most kids in bands these days around those ages are simply going for the most "brutal", lowest tuned, dissonant sound they can go for simply for the shock value. All Shall Perish doesn't attempt to impress anyone but themselves with this release. Its a politically and emotionally driven outcry crammed into 8 fierce tracks.
The first track is Deconstruction
which is a seemingly endless barrage of guttural vocals and blast beats. While not pushing the over-the-top technicality on you, every instrument in this song seems to have a standout part. Craig Betit
, their original vocalist, is carrying the song with a pretty impressive display of range from deep growls to a menacing high scream that pierces the ears. Matt Kuykendall
is beating the hell out of the snare and bass in synchronous with the guitars. The song peaks about at about 1:34 with an incredible breakdown, then lets you off with a tasteful repeat of the riff from the beginning. This is metal songwriting.
The next two tracks are Laid to Rest
and Our Own Grave
. These two are a couple of my favorites from the record. Laid to Rest starts off with a rapid picking riff with a constant bass drum roll throughout the first verse. Then by the end of the song each guitarist has one of their shining moments. Bassist Mike "worst dude" Tiner
delivers a tapping sweep that shines, even with the quick drums and guitar dominating the song. The guitarists Ben Orum
and Caysen Russo
(who was the guitarist at the time, now in Oblige) sign off with a sludgy array of chugs and taps while Betit screams "You're laid to rest!" This never ceases to chill the nerves up my spine.
The next track is Our Own Grave
which is another song that falls in line with the general "hateful" motif of the album. Triplet picking and evil guitar harmonies make this song easy to digest. However at the end of the song they drop you out with a syrupy breakdown while the vocals are given a slight-phaser effect. Great song.
The Spreading Disease
is more or less a filler track on the album. Despite the fact that its not quite as good as say "Never Ending War" or "Deconstruction" this song does have moments of real intensity. The problem this song has is its lack of real cohesion, unlike most of the other songs on Hate, Malice Revenge. Each instrument is good on the song, but what it lacks is any real organization which leads it to sound somewhat sloppy. This is still a very solid song, especially in comparison to every copy-cat band in this genre.
I apologize for the drug reference, but I want to preface my summary of Sever the Memory
with a little anecdote. While I tend to abstain from most hallucinogens, I have a friend who is a modern-day acid head. He and I were discussing this album and the only thing he could say about it was "I was listening to Sever the Memory on acid and I felt like it was the end of the world. I was staring at the ocean and the world turned inside out." For some reason, that description of this song has always stuck with me. This is one of the more passionate songs on the record lyrically. This song has a political agenda, and really wants to get the point across with such lines as "I will not fall victim to you again/Blinded with the fear searching for a new way/To lay the seeds of deceit as you just ***ing betray/Your actions soaked in blood/Just like the doctrine that you preach every day." I'm a sucker for left-wing lyricism and this song definitely gets the point across. Drummer Matthew Kuykendall was only 17 at the time, but he still has written some of the most intelligent lyrics I've read to date.
For Far Too Long
is another filler song on the record, except not quite as good as "The Spreading Disease." This song has kind of a forced vocal structure.The riffs are too simple in comparison to the rest of the CD. This song just sounds a little too rushed for my taste, and tends to be the one I skip over while I listen to this CD. I will give it the credit of fitting the natural track-to-track progression of the album's entirety.
Now comes the moment I've been waiting to "fan boy" about. Never Ending War
is without a doubt the best song on this record. This was the first song I'd ever heard by this band and frankly I couldn't stomach getting through the whole thing at first, but as time went on it quickly became one of my favorite death songs of all time. This song is a full scale artistic attack on the American government. The lyrics in this steal the show from the rest of the album.
"The price of always being silent will be paid for with your grave. Tear down the walls of their illusion, for the ones who simply turn their heads; A blind death awaits your carcass you know not of the pain that's ahead."
I remember as a young lad of about 15 reading those lyrics with my jaw dropped. I had the quintessential "musical orgasm" and left this song on loop about 100 times. The guitar riffs are emotional, the drums are tasteful, the vocals are passionate and real. I love every single thing about this song, still. While this song is somewhat difficult to swallow, its dark and hateful nature represent what the band was trying to convey with the overall theme of the album itself. I suppose that's why they chant the album name in the breakdown.
They finish off Hate Malice Revenge with the first song they ever wrote as a band Herding the Brainwash
. This song starts off with a galloping triplet riff followed by an injurious high scream. This song is sort of a battle cry, to signify that every kid or adult that had the balls to finish this record should grab a pitchfork and storm the steps of their city hall and take back whats ours.
I highly recommend this record to any fan of 90's death bands like Carcass and Cannibal Corpse, as well as new age fans of the "deathcore" persuasion. This CD is a perfect bridge between old and new, and even after listening to it for years it has yet to go stale for me. Buy this record.
Laid To Rest
Never Ending War