All Out War - Celestial Rot review
|Band:||All Out War|
|Release date:||February 2023|
01. Snake Legion
02. Glorious Devastation
03. Wrath / Plague
04. Hideous Disdain
05. The End Is Always Near
06. Caustic Abomination
07. Revel In Misery
08. Celestial Rot
09. Weaving Oblivion
10. Shroud Of Heaven
All Out War see no reason why a band with more than 30 years of experience shouldn't still strive to be as heavy as possible.
Metalcore is admittedly still a quite large umbrella term, technically encompassing all possible blends of metal and hardcore, but often it's the more emo cleans-heavy side that gets quite maligned by the metal community. However no such prejudice exists against the more balls-to-the-walls metallic hardcore sound that All Out War are embracing. Like the band name suggests, the band spew anger and all kinds of violence with their feet firmly planted on the throttle. There's not quite a lot of ground left to be covered with that sound, especially for a band whose first demos date back to 1992, and one that hasn't had any long hiatuses. I'm far from the biggest All Out War fans out there, so maybe I can't properly contextualize Celestial Rot, but it feels like the band is specifically putting in effort here to go even further.
Celestial Rot is the kind of album that feels like it was made by a band half All Out War's age, or at least that's how well their vigor and aggression translates in this one. This is still overall the sound that the band is known for, but not only is the throttle pushed even further both in performance and sound, but the band sprinkle in some more extreme metal elements to match all the interplay between punk and extreme metal that have developed in the past couple of decades. Both on the vocal front and in the instrumental side, All Out War sound outright corrosive, and there's plenty of moments here that sound more akin to a blackened sludge record you'd find released in the past decade than something in All Out War's usual metallic hardcore vein. But those are still extra sprinkles on an established sound. The hardcore barks and moshpit-inducing riffing still betrays the fact that the band's branch of the sound goes way back.
As a result, Celestial Rot is a pretty interesting mix of old and new sounds in the more extreme kind of metalcore, one where the two might not always seamlessly mix, but where the end result is more interesting than what each distilled would've been. There's still a bit of work necessary towards making these two sides of the sound work better in tandem, and to make the songwriting a bit more unpredictable, but it seems like All Out War were aware of some of the drawbacks in their sound, both by alternating the amount and shape of extreme metal influence in each song, and by making the entire experience a swift 25 minutes to ensure that nothing overstays its welcome.
I'm curious to see how All Out War would sound pushing even deeper into extreme metal, but Celestial Rot is quite a neckbreaker as it is.
||Written on 10.02.2023 by|
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