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01. When Life Meant More
02. Black Gold Reign
04. The Ones We Left Behind
05. Awaken The Dreamers
06. Memories Of A Glass Sanctuary
07. Stabbing To Purge Dissimulation
08. Gagged, Bound, Shelved And Forgotten
09. Until The End
10. From So Far Away
11. Misery's Introduction
12. Songs For The Damned
With all the privileges that come with being one of the most successful "deathcore" bands in the world, there have also got to be many challenges. Especially once that oh-so-crucial third record cycle comes around. In such a new metal subgenre, we haven't really seen any bands get to the point in their career where, after a couple records perfecting a certain sound, they branch out musically in an attempt to form their own identity. All Shall Perish are most definitely doing exactly this on Awaking The Dreamers.
I can practically see into the past, back to the band's first writing session for this record. After two well-received records and like, a bajillion shows around the world (where they were probably exposed to over a thousand opening bands trying to sound just like them), they, like anyone would, wrote some tunes that sounded fresh and exciting to them. What we, the listeners, get as a result is a record full of new sounds (for an All Shall Perish record, at least) like clean, melodic vocals, epic guitar solos, and "experimental" tracks like "Memories Of A Glass Sanctuary." I can't say I am impressed by any of these new elements of the band's sound, but only because I, and everyone else, have unfortunately heard it done better.
That isn't to say that the execution isn't perfect. All Shall Perish have always come across as one of this subgenre's most technically proficient bands. Guitarists Ben Orum and, especially, Chris Storey shred all over this fucking thing, and pretty much lay to waste any other guitarists in this scene. Drummer Matt Kuykendall shines through while adding colorful cymbal and double-kick work that complements the riffs well. Hernan Hermida's clean vocals actually sound fine, and are not as cringe-worthy as you might expect. I just think that if he needs an outlet for clean singing, he should do it in another band. His brutal vocals, on the other hand. are excellent as usual.
In fact, aside from three or four songs, this is still a brutal assault of death metal riffs, blast beats, and genuinely groovy breakdowns. And like their records before it, Awaken The Dreamers has a competent sense of songwriting and dynamics. My only suggestion for next time – stick to what you're good at, because that's, well, what you are in fact good at.
Bottom Line: This is still a good record, and considering the band's above-par musicianship and knack for catchy grooves, I predict that with this record, All Shall Perish will make the jump from being part of a musical trend to being relevant to the metal scene in general.
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