Nuclear Blast Records
July 26th, 2011
Release length: 53:26
While the music itself comes off heavy, one of the main faults to this winds up being the audio quality. The music itself is fine, having a muddier sound to it that really pulls the bass to the forefront of the sound. This works exceptionally well during the guitar solos to aid the rhythm guitarist in creating a rich atmosphere to the track. The drums are fine as well, having a nice click to the bass kicks and the cymbols and snares are a little distant in the mix, but not too much that they go unnoticed. Of course the lead guitars are good, being a little cleaner then working with a decent distortion that can sometimes give the sound more of a melodic sound, like with the track “There is Nothing Left”. But there seems to be a bit of an issue in the vocals with the rhaspier approach, as they sound a little more distant and even echoing in a hollow metallic manner, and not through any sort of distortion. However, the screaming and gutturals can sound perfectly fine, coming in loud and dominant in the mix, but that’s not all the time. It sounds like they were just recorded in a different studio and the levels were not in a manner best suiting to the rest of the music.
As mentioned, the band’s guitars definitely have more of a clearer sound to them, which does help to aid in some lighter tracks that feel more along the lines of a Melodic Death Metal meets Metalcore sound that still retains the All Shall Perish sound to them, adding a little extra variety to the mix of the album. However, the album starts off more with the traditional Deathcore sound of the band with “Divine Illusion”. The song doesn’t really establish much of an atmosphere, but it’s still a solid track despite the muffled vocal issue. The heavier bass really drives the music, and while the guitar solo for this track is not that great and feels a little weak due to a simpler performance that doesn’t quite match the richer background chugging of the breakdown for this track. This sadly does wind up hurting the album as it does happen on other dominantly Deathcore tracks, though it sounds more suiting to the more Melodic Death/Metalcore material that does pop up.
“Process of Ashes” makes for an interesting track, though being less of the Deathcore experience then a stronger Metalcore approach. The haunting atmosphere of the slower paced music that goes in and out of chugging riffs works great, especially the impressive fast paced then held note guitar solo that occurs early on in the song that aids to that same atmosphere. The breakdown fits the track, though it’s really just not needed despite how well the band works it into the song. The screaming and guttural vocal approach to the track works a lot better then having the higher rhaspier scream as the driving force, and it just sounds more dominant in the mix, especially when layered over that rhasp approach in the background at times without it ever being the main vocal approach of the song. And while any tracks that give off a strong atmosphere are more then welcome to this release, not all of them have to give off anything like that to stand out. “A Pure Evil” is another more Metalcore track that, at times, can ring familiar amongst The Black Dahlia Murder fans with hints of Oceano‘s haunting breakdowns, but it just has a great deal of intensity and fury that will have you headbanging and looking to mosh the second the track starts. This is easily one of the better tracks on the recording, though it has a strong chugging pattern that seems to take on a heavier breakdown foundation then anything, but there’s just so much going on in the track that you won’t even care about it, thanks largely to the highly impressive lead guitars that build up the song into grand and epic levels through it’s performance and some seriously impressive guitar solo abilities, all leading to a soul crushing breakdown that ends this song perfectly.
In a sense, the album’s title is very suiting. The album really seems to drop much of the established Deathcore sound in favor of a lighter approach, and really it’s great. The band has plenty of intense moments throughout the release, but there’s more going on then just that. The haunting tracks are minimal, but when they hit it offers a great contrast to the far more intense material. Songs like “The Past Will Haunt Us Both” are haunting and will captivate the listener from start to finish because of that, but then go into a strong Metalcore meets Deathcore mechanic on songs like “Royalty Into Exile” and even “Embrace the Curse”, all of which hammer at the listener with a hint of melody to the riffs to make them as catchy as they are hard hitting, giving the listener the perfect reason to just stand up and start a mosh wherever he or she may be at that time. This does not always reflect the quality of the material, mostly at the end, as “My Retaliation” is a good track, but it just doesn’t really hold up to the rest of the material on the album, and “Rebirth” is doesn’t offer too much to get excited over due to it’s more chugging environment and less then stand out performance overall, coming off a little bland in the Death Metal field. All Shall Perish also attempts to end the album in the same manner it kicked in, for the most part, but going back to a stronger Deathcore sound for “Rebirth”, which isn’t the most engaging of songs, but still has a strong Deathcore sound to it that is worth taking a look at, all coming to an end with a piano heavy hopeful instrumental introduction on “In this Life of Pain” that sounds beautiful amidst the chaos of the previous eleven songs that make up the album. This hammers into a chug-heavy Deathcore track that sounds good, but really ruins such a suiting conclusion to this album, making you wish it came before that introduction.
This is Where it Ends has it’s ups and downs. There are plenty of strong moments from the band, but those are the ones that seem to strongly deviate from the band’s less then impressive Deathcore tracks. Some songs have a great atmosphere, others will make you want to start a mosh or just start destroying everything in your way for a good majority of the album. All Shall Perish show that the years have greatly worked to their benefit and the music comes off rather tight with plenty of solid moments that show the group continuing to expand and grow. While there’s some filler, it’s not a lot, and the conclusion to the release could have been better, but overall it’s a solid album with some great material. If you’ve enjoyed any previous All Shall Perish recordings, then chances are good you’re going to like this one, as it stands tall as one of the best full-length albums they’ve offered up to this point in their career. While it’s not something worth running out and buying right away, This is Where it Ends is well worth checking out the next chance you get.
01. Divine Illusion – 3:21
02. There is Nothing Left – 3:22
03. Procession of Ashes – 4:37
04. A Pure Evil – 5:13
05. Embrace the Curse – 2:57
06. Spineless – 3:57
07. The Past Will Haunt Us Both – 6:05
08. Royalty Into Exile – 4:25
09. My Retaliation – 3:23
10. Rebirth – 5:29
11. The Death Plague – 3:03
12. In This Life of Pain – 7:34
|Overall Score: 8/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by Nuclear Blast Records.