Release DetailsLABEL Teenage Disco Bloodbath Records
RELEASED ON 1/7/2005
As Long As We're All Living, We're All Dying
Self Titled 7"
posted on 3/2005 By:
Veterans of the hardcore scene, I can empathize with you. Like your precious, sacrosanct scene, the impassioned metal I grew up with now appears tepid, sterile, decrepit. Bizarrely, we both suffer from the very same cancer- I guess you guys took that trip to Gothenburg too, huh? We should've quarantined global exposure to Slaughter of the Soul, The Somberlain and The Jester Race, seeing as how that unholy triumvirate has nurtured a putrid tumor that threatens to plague aggressive music for all eternity, swallowing it into a bottomless black pit of tremolo picking and twin leads. They seemed so benign at the time, so harmless. Just as my Blood Feasts and Onslaughts have been replaced with bland substitutes, Carnal Forge's and Dimension Zero's, your hallowed halls, once graced by such names as Integrity, Disembodied, Unbroken and Bloodlet is now infested with well-coiffed, metrosexual she-males, each possessing a bonafide degree in Whoracle mimicry and dressed in pants so tight you'd swear they induced impotency. Where are your cargo shorts and crew cuts? The sweat, tears and camaraderie that served as the nexus for your exclusive scene have been overwhelmed by Hot Topic, black nail polish and piercings. If it weren't so metalcore, I'd weep for you.
Yet, you labor on, wading through the seas of desensitized, blithering zombies, intent on proliferating a spirit and ethos that embodies hardcore as a lifestyle and philosophy. For every Usurper and Desaster that we can be proud of, you have your own Verse, Have Heart and With Honor, bands that refuse to succumb to popular conceptions, hellbent on preserving increasingly unfashionable ethics that stand on the precipice of extinction. Be glad that you can add As Long As We're All Living, We're All Dying to that hardy list of scar-ridden legionaries. Don't be dissuaded by the obnoxious moniker. I know they're even more outrageously titled than Between The Buried & Me, who stink. Fear Before The March Of Flames, Where Fear & Weapons Meet, they're not exceptional either, I'll give you that, but listen, these guys are good, and honest! What more could you want, really?
Yeah, sure, the 7"starts off in a trite fashion, a gently strummed, serene guitar passage that paves the way for a string of pummeling, deliberate chords. Hang in there...do you hear that? The thrashy crossover drum pattern, the Shai Hulud-y melodic echoes in the riffing, the straight-ahead, bludgeoning, take-no-prisoners approach. Brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it? How about the snot-nosed, bratty Charles Bronson gutter punk of track 2, complete with gang vocals and fleshed out beatdown section? Yeah, sure, THAT swedemetal influence surfaces on track 3, these young'n's invariably caught the bug with the rest of them, but it's just interpreted in such an energetic and cutthroat fashion that you HAVE to love it. Track 4-If that Overcome meets Disembodied chugathon doesn't enkindle the red-eyed pit beast in you, I don't know what will.
If you've caught your breath, there's a fiercely underproduced nugget of Sick Of It All adulation on Track 5, presumably culled from a separate session, a filthy blast of Skitsystem/Nausea/Gism flavored crusty ferocity on Track 6, a super-dense Track 7 that starts off sounding kinda like Breach, then swells into a sweltering mass of cathartic, explosive and sloppy punk rock. Holy shit, these guys never let up! Sometimes dark and brooding like His Hero Is Gone, sometimes contemplative like Shai Hulud, always ruthless, tortured and maniacal with just a tiny smidgen of Eucharist/ At The Gates for good measure. Yeah, they're still really underdeveloped, but with more development of these dynamic passages I'm sure they'll be something special.
I know half of these songs have no real enduring value, that two or three sound like they were recorded in a bedroom with a single Talk Boy. Who cares, though? If I can dig Hellhammer, Sodom's demo recordings and Mutiilation, I have no qualms awarding this record top marks. The passion of this young troupe brims to the very top, and even in their most underdeveloped moments conjure up images of smouldering, stuffy basements packed with kids who live solely for music. At their best, ALAWAL display an intriguing capacity for dark, sometimes Cursed-esque hardcore, infused with hues of melody and just enough metallic tendencies to add some heft to the unabashed punk RAWK. This, like the Tides record on the same label, kicks a lot of ass, and while I have close to no interest in hardcore whatsoever, I am really quite drawn by the sounds on this slab of wax. Enough of me rambling though, you agree, don't you? Here, let me get that tear for you.
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