All Shall Perish - Awaken The Dreamers
I may not be the most certified for reviewing an All Shall Perish album, considering this is my first go-round with the Deathcore giants. I've done my reading up, and it would appear that their newest effort, 08's Awaken The Dreamers, is their most varied and inspiring offering to date. Well, I can't be the judge of that, but I can tell you that this album lends itself to a multitude of metal subgenres. Deathcore of course but technical death, thrash, even some metalcore at times. It's very much a well-rounded album, but one that suffers from a bit of malaise in the songwriting department.
The album begins and ends with the guitar duo of Chris Storey and Ben Orum, who's fiery riffage controls tempo, tonality and tension. Opener "When Life Meant More" chugs along at a mid-pac, using the atypical stop-start riffing techniques and guitar squeals you've come to expect from a myriad of bands in this league. While the technicality is there in spades, the songs themselves all are diminished in impact by seemingly repeating themselves throughout. They all just sorta blend together, and it's hard to find moments where anything stands right out. Oddly enough, it's the song "Memories of a Glass Sanctuary" and it's total change of pace (mellow, melodic and moody) that shines the brightest here. Although I'm certain it was simply included as a breather track, it's very well done and reminds me of later-era Swans.
You're getting a very familiar package of technical death metal, perhaps varied in delivery here and there but ultimately too lackluster in it's depth and repetitive to a harmful degree. I am not exactly inspired to dig back into the band's past if this is, as other reviews state, the best they have to offer. Many moments on this album make me want to call myself a fan, but I'd rather spend some time with Between The Buried And Me. Enter into this one tentatively, and don't expect to be blown away.
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