Artist: All Else Fails
Album: The Forever Lie (EP)
Release Date: Feb 17th, 2017
Label: Suicidal Bride Records
I am not too fond of EPs. It is not about All Else Fails, but about me being a grumpy old-school metal head. Albums and their stories used to mean something. I am a Middle-Eastern. We had to find an album as a copy of “god knows how many” versions and search for lyrics, etc. I remember asking my “elder” friends for lyric sheets when No Prayer for the Dying came out. I was 8. Sorry, All Else Fails…
First thing first, I have to apology to the band’s followers; this is my first time reviewing the band’s music, and although I am a quite experienced ear and a music journalist for well over a decade, I believe it is just to mention that. My editor sent me the package as a melodic death metal package and I agree, certain parts are truly the treat of that genre but I believe All Else Fails peeps have more to offer.
The first thing is; the sound is not exactly melodic death metal as in “Scandinavian”, but rather, the immediate influence you will feel is North American which is little wonder as the band is Canadian. Now, the post Reroute to Remain-ish sound of In Flames is an obvious influence and I am an old-school In Flames guy myself, but that’s my own taste to like. The Forever Lie offers solid rhythm section with admirably performed lead partitions. The mix may leave something to be desired, especially with “over pushed” bass that stresses points at certain levels all very picky and unavoidable when being reviewed but the important part is the talent is there.
As I have said, I haven’t listened to the older tracks of the band and since this was a last-minute call for me, I had little time to do some research. So, all I my filter is therefore from the perspective of a first-timer. This is a good EP but for the mix. Now, when it comes ti mixes, it may be a matter of ear – I know and worked with engineers like Leon Zervos (Aerosmith, Dream Theater, Maroon 5, Ace of Base, etc.) who loves to push a record to its limits at mastering. However, if that is the case here, it needs some more love.
All in all, the EP is a good showcase of where the band is currently at. The new era of In Flames is a good reference point to limit and compress your expectations of the songs. It’s rather aggressive music with solid brutal vocals and clean singing that is in need of a little extra passion. It’s still enough to carry the songs. The exciting guitar work – the sales point of the EP for me – and a mediocre mix sums up the work. If they continue to evolve there is some real potential here.
I respect the band’s hard work and I know it is very hard to come up with recorded work, especially in today’s horseshit market. Don’t let my mix related comments discourage you from listening to their work and attending their gigs. Bones is the song that I recommend to “experience” everything, positive or negative, I said about the album.
Barrett Klesko: vocals, guitar
Mike Sands: guitar
Ryan Biggs: drums
Mike Generoux: bass, vocals