All Shall Perish – The Price Of Existence

The tracks I heard off this album before purchasing it somehow fooled me into thinking this was one of those deathcore bands that moved in a more brutal direction ala Suicide Silence, but it turns out they’re a rather typical melodic death/metalcore band.  How unfortunate.  This is another one of those bands who really seem to have gotten popular simply because they were in the right place at the right time; there’s very little here that I can say is particularly different from any other band in the same style; perhaps they were just the first to send their demo off to Nuclear Blast.  ‘The Price Of Existence’ is a capable but not very notable album; it has good elements to it such as excellent instrumental ability, great production, and catchy songwriting, but I don’t see how any of those elements are particularly worthy of note when there’s a million other artists doing exactly the same thing.

I guess this is very marginally more brutal than your average melodeath/metalcore release, with a bit more blasting and growling, but overall there’s little to differentiate it from anything else.  The song structures are rather conventional configurations of melodic riffs versus churning breakdowns, with the slightly novel additions of blasting tremolo sections and some extremely technical lead guitar sweeping at certain intervals.  Those additions though add little overall to the compositions and could be removed without the songs being changed.  I get the feeling that the band wanted to be more than just an average metalcore band, but instead of fundamentally changing the design of the music they decided just to arbitrarily insert a few things here and there and call it a day.  The problem with that is that it’s pretty transparent to all but the most superficial listener, and once the proverbial cat is out of the bag that all your song structures and riffs are pretty much the same no matter how many gravity blasts and sweeps there are, people tend to become rather disinterested in listening more.

I can’t deny that it’s very listenable and professionally composed music, but really all the professionalism in the world doesn’t mean much if there’s not a lot of definite substance under the sheen of good production and competent musicianship.  Really, ask yourself a question while listening to this or a similar album: at any point while listening, does something genuinely unexpected happen?  The answer is really going to be no because this is composed to a basic pattern, and while the pattern’s not BAD, it’s unartistic and ultimately not really worth your time if you’re looking for more than some entertainment.  Competence is a good thing, but if you have competence alone without inspiration, your competence has to be AMAZING to make up for a lack of originality.  And that’s the simple problem with All Shall Perish: no matter how ‘good’ it is, there’s really nothing beyond being good.  It’s filler music.  It’s good for filler, but filler it remains.

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~ by noktorn on September 4, 2008.

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