Release DetailsLABEL Combat Records
RELEASED ON 9/20/2005
At All Cost
It's Time To Decide
posted on 11/2005 By:
At All Cost is part of the resurrected Combat Record’s trifecta including Horse the Band and Look What I Did, and personally, despite its jarring mix of metalcore, rock and pop is actually my favorite of three, but that’s not saying much.
Not as quirky as Horse the Band’s Nintendo-core but not as annoyingly eclectic as Look What I Did, even with some strange vocal effects, they are somewhat a standard modern metalcore act with a few commercial kinks thrown in. At their heart, their metalcore is acceptable, and comes across like Unearth or the usual suspects, but as with tier label mates, At All Cost throw in enough electronica, catchy pop/rock moments and hooks and a few vocal surprises to keep it from being pure metalcore; but unlike Look What I Did, they keep all these elements somewhat in check, and surrounded by decent metalcore - which means catchy dual galloping melodies and a few breakdowns with screaming/bellowed vocals.
If you’ve heard the single/seen the video for the album's opening track “Death to Distraction”, you’ve got some idea as the album’s overall feel, especially in the pitch shifted vocals of the chorus and the quirky pop interlude. But At All Cost wraps those elements up in a stout riff and an admittedly catchy structure. “The Formula” starts as more of a traditional metalcore/emocore track with a cantering dual guitar riff, dual death metal vocals and a hearty breakdown, but the vocal effects kick in a little too much, taking away from the track’s solid gait. “Human Now” starts with a nice, heavy lumber, again before the band’s quirky nature takes over, and that seems to be the M.O for the entire album; some solid metalcore, some odd, off kilter refrain with distorted robotic pop vocals, then back to the standard metalcore. Admittedly, it breaks up the tracks, but gets a little old and predictable. Still, to their credit, At All Cost, do some different things without coming across as entirely annoying or pretentious like label mates Look What I Did. Plus the vocal refrains are certainly a welcome change from the usual metal/screamo-core wimpy whiny clean segues. It doesn’t get much catchier then the opening trot of “Polish the Nightmare”, or the very well implemented female vocals of “This Pen” and “Right Now” rocks in similar fashion to Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, without the whiskey soaked ambience.
Some tracks like “Fabricated”, the Latin tribalism of instrumental “Noches Desparadas”, the hazy “It Burns Black” or the drawn out “What’s Left to Inspire?” (even with its enjoyable acoustic segue-just end the song with that kids) are either too adventurous or mere filler, as this album could have easily been a solid, enjoyable 9 or 10 tracks rather than a slightly long, forced 13, with the tangents coming within songs, rather than their own separate displays.
Obviously, this and Combat’s other two recent releases will never measure up to the standard, genre defining likes of Death, Possessed, Venom and Dark Angel, but considering today’s mu$ical climate, At All Cost do the label's name a little bit of justice.
Register to post comments.