ALL LIFE ENDS
"Of Sulphur and Suicide"

(Self-Released)

01. Hungry Like War
02. Of Sulphur and Suicide
03. Dawn on Earth
04. The Solar Eclipse Massacre
05. Crimson Season
06. And the World Turns Again

RATING: 7.5/10

Attention all metal-oriented record labels, either you've overlooked "Of Sulphur and Suicide" by Switzerland's ALL LIFE ENDS or you've just not had a chance to listen to it yet. Whatever the case, give it a listen because you may very well find it good enough to stamp on a barcode and release it. That's not to say that "Of Sulphur and Suicide" is the "next big thing" necessarily; only that it is one of the better deathcore-oriented releases I've heard these past several months and it certainly betters many albums from any number of over-hyped signed acts.

Much of that has to do with the fact that "Of Sulphur and Suicide" is not deathcore as it has been overdone the past year or so; meaning that it is not all rubbery, down-tuned riffs, vanilla flavored guitar harmonizing, and interchangeable songwriting. Instead, it is deathcore that attacks like ALL SHALL PERISH attacked on their debut album, "Hate, Malice, Revenge", though without as much emphasis on the brutal death part. In other words, songs like "Hungry Like War", "The Solar Eclipse Massacre", and the title track slam and pound their way through chunky riffs, strong lead guitar work, punishing beats, hardcore/death-ish vocals, and breakdowns that have a place in the larger context of the song, rather than simply dropped in every 30 seconds for lack of anything better to do. Aggressiveness is emphasized throughout these six tracks, yet it never overshadows song centrality and the boys make sure to keep the machine running at a high rate of efficiency.

The album's centerpiece in that regard is "Dawn on Earth", which is the most compositionally dynamic of the bunch. Not only is the melody more pronounced (and the aggressive vocals supported with low-key clean singing), but the component parts work smashingly well together. Moving further in this direction has its risks, mainly the band losing its edge in favor of a more concerted attempt at accessibility, yet it does speak to ALL LIFE ENDS' considerable potential.

More than anything else, the EP packs one hell of a clobbering blow, some of which has to do with the recording of Abele Franze at Cult Rock Studios, the sonic qualities unleashed nothing short of woofer-busting. One can almost hear the band working toward compositional refinement on a couple of tracks and except for some moderate struggles with vocal patterning, "Of Sulphur and Suicide" shows ALL LIFE ENDS is a band that is much further along they probably even realize. It is becoming harder and harder to get very excited abut death-metal-core, no matter the variation on the theme, but at least this EP shows that the subgenre's life has yet to be extinguished.

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