With their first album, Hate, Malice, Revenge, Oakland's All Shall Perish walked something of a middle ground between America's two dominant strains of metal in the early 2000s: the commercially minded metalcore contingent led by Killswitch Engage and Shadows Fall and the more extreme and hyper-technical strain represented by Mastodon and Dying Fetus, among others. With their second effort, 2006's The Price of Existence, improved financial support from new record company Nuclear Blast (who only reissued the debut, put out by an obscure Japanese label) have made it possible for the band to exacerbate those contrasts more effectively, while simultaneously proving that this 'best of both worlds' mentality was no thoughtless fluke. Certainly not where densely arranged new tracks like "Eradication," "Better Living Through Catastrophe," "We Hold These Truths," and "Promises" are concerned, since their bouts of labyrinthine riffing are as frequently spiced with blue-collar hardcore gang shouts as they are positively eye-popping flights of lead guitar heroics. By comparison, the lonely cowbell that kicks off "Wage Slaves" seems almost comical, but there's nothing funny about the lurching, tortured riffs that follow, emphasizing the band's harshest and uncompromising qualities; for these, see also the apocalyptic "There Is No Business to Be Done on a Dead Planet," where most any signs of melody and beauty are remorselessly crushed beneath the violent onslaught. The gently sweet "Interlude" helps to heal a few wounds, but just enough so listeners don't have to pay too big of an emotional cost for The Price of Existence.
|Label:||Nuclear Blast Americ|