Hardcore is, by and large, an exclusivist, mainly underground yet overpopulated scene that has established a reputation in some quarters for being about as inventive as Lemmy is pretty. That said, when the energetically brutal riffs are borrowed and sparred against the technicality and groove of death metal, the projectile vomit that ensues, takes shape in the form of bands just like All Shall Perish.
Something of a well-established name on the hardcore scene, the Californian natives have played with everyone from Bleeding Through to As I Lay Dying (fans of whom will love this). This album was officially released over two years ago through a Japanese indie label, but is surfacing for the masses now thanks to Nuclear Blast. Whether they’ve done us a favour or not is a moot point, with this album providing eight tracks of relentless abrasion that will leave you drained. The search for the century’s heaviest album may just be over…
Although All Shall Perish may not grab you on first listen, given the chance they may well hammer their way into your brain. With the not so stunningly reflective title of Hate Malice Revenge, this is music to kill Bambi (and his entire family) to.
Opening to what can only be described as the sound of death, the first few minutes of the album are little more than a regurgitated “look how fast we can blast” display. However, successor Laid to Rest displays some truly awesome metal technicality. The drums are nothing short of migraine-inducing, but fused with some intricate Swedish death metal-ly picking, it packs more than a plentiful punch. A truly epic effort by hardcore standards, given that it clocks in at over three and a half minutes, the breakneck speed is as usual sacrificed to make way for the mandatory hardcore breakdown which is drawn out into a full-on nuclear assault, all at quarter speed.
Our Own Grave is ominous and menacing in its opening bars, before descending into a thrashing, melodic death frenzy while Spread The Disease supplies more blast-beat explosions that get a little wearing. Sever The Memory sounds far too much like two songs earlier, but kicks ass all the same. Classic hardcore is revisited for the bully boy Far Too Long.
The fusing of metal and hardcore is nothing revolutionary in 2005, and was only slightly rarer when this release was first recorded, so if the idea of chugging single chords interspersed with dark melodies even so much as fails to keep you fixated, then this is not the album for you.
However, if you’re looking for more musical variation in an overcrowded and largely uninventive genre, this album will provide some brief moments of inspiration, but exists primarily to crush and destroy with inexorable strength. Yes it’s repetitive, and the lyrics are as clich�d as they come. Still, if you can’t get your message across eloquently, then there are worse options than forming a hardcore band and growling it at people instead.