AFTER ALL - DAWN OF THE ENFOCER

ROADRUNNER RECORS BENELUX / CNR

 

Metal To Infinity

After All is Belgium’s most promising Metal act at the moment for me and no one can dissuade me from this expression! Delivering their way of Metal pure as can be for decades now, make notice of the fact these guys’ new and 8th full length effort will be officially released in Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg by Roadrunner Records at the end of April 2012. The rest of Europe have to wait for both CD and vinyl is scheduled for early June. Entitled “Dawn Of The Enforcer”, fans of Bay Area styled Thrash Metal surely will have a real good time listening to such a fantastic masterpiece like this! 

After the release of previous, full-length album, “Cult Of Sin”, all connection with record label Dockyard1 was at a dead end so After All was forced to identify some other labels which proved a difficult task. Strong and loaded with good ambitions they recruited a new singer and bass player and take it from me – with the new line-up, After All is better than ever before. To expose how good the new band occupation sounded, two EP’s were recorded as self financed articles. “Betrayed By The Gods” and “Becoming A Martyr” were so damn good, it was a new start for After All that keeps the fires of old school Thrash Metal burning bright here in Belgium and far beyond!  

Fans of typical US inspired, so called Bay Area Thrash Metal will be definitely agree with me that After All can be compared with acts like, Forbidden, Agent Steel, Blind Illusion, Helstar, Mordred, Defiance and stuff. Watching these guys’ list of live performances is quite amazing to me… to name but a few, After All played toured across Europe as support act for many infamous troops of Metal like: Testament, Agent Steel, Candlemass, Heathen, Forbidden, Death Angel, Exodus, Anvil, Armored Saint, King Diamond, Sepulture, Laaz Rockit,… awesome! Go check their homepage at: www.afterall.be and make notice of more live dates next to come. 

“Dawn Of The Enforcer” is produced by sound magician Dan Swanö in a very professional way. It’s not the first time both After All and Dan work together but the production of the new album is so damn good, it really defies my imagination. More well known artists offered their skills – for example Ed Repka who did the cover art and brings his name again to honour. I can’t imagine that you never heard of an artist like Ed who’s actually world famous due to many incredible covers he painted in the past. To refresh your mind, check out covers from albums like: Death, Defiance, Evildead, Hexen, Faith Or Fear, Megadeth, Nuclear Assault, Toxik, Vio-lence among others. Musical guest appearances on “Dawn Of The Enforcer” come from the ranks of Fordidden, Armored Saint and Agent Steel so you are warned in advance, right!  

The new album “Dawn Of The Enforcer” contains eleven songs, brought to the masses with an obvious persuasion – hereby, all the players in After All prove that they are in great shape ready to take the world by a lethal storm of steel! Opener ‘Parasite Within’ starts with a very high scream of singer Sammy Peleman followed by superb Bay Area Thrash Metal influenced guitar riffs, fast bass lines by Frederik Van Massenhove and the energetic drums of Kevin Strubbe. Great to hear the nice collaboration of both axemen Dries Van Damme and Christophe Depree. This work reminds me right on to the good old days of Bay Area Thrash Metal.  

As for the vocals of Sammy I’d like to say the following words… while the man is using his throat in a standard mode he does reminds me of Marc Biederman of US Thrash act Blind Illusion (album: The Sane Asylum) and Paul Kimball of another American Thrash Metal band called Mordred (album: Fool’s Game). Those days, both offered their own and especially unique manner of singing in full glory and that’s also what After All’s Sammy does. He even can give the listener something extra in the form of awesome high pitch passages which I like a lot. Being a fan myself of extreme high vocals like Geoff Tate, John Cyriis, James Rivera, Rob Halford or Paul Davidson (ex-Heir Apparent), After All excites me completely. I’d like to say that with the recruiting of Sammy, they have one of the best Belgian Metal singers ever in its ranks! 

Okay, are you ready to thrash again? I hope you will because the following songs will start testing your neck muscles definitely. ‘Timeless Machine’, ‘Digital War’, ‘Spread The Infamy’ and ‘Becoming The Martyr’. They bring technical thrashing Metal velocities with brilliant vocals and a good tactile co-operation between guitar players in the first place. Bassist and drummer collaborate very good as well. ‘To Breach And Grieve’ gives you the opportunity to recharge batteries for a while. Easy parts alternating with great melodic and power moments…  it feels a bit like Queensryche’s ‘The Lady Whore Black’ meets ‘Gods Of Wrath’ from Metal Church. Thrash Metal maniacs better take position to go wild and crazy during ‘Demolition Course’ followed by the amazing ‘Betrayed By The Gods’ and its dragging, still fantastic rhythms. Chopping guitar riffs and aggression act as incentive on ‘My Own Sacrifice’ and ‘Devastation Done’. For those who survived After All’s Thrash Metal mayhem so far, I have one last song in the offer called ‘End Of Your World’. It’s a worthy ending of great album where I, as a Belgian Metal maniac myself, am very proud of.   

Now that the band signed a deal with a major label like Roadrunner Records, I’m sure this will give them an extra boost to go on releasing more efforts in the future. Classic Metal maniacs who like their stuff in a mainly Thrash or Speed Metal way (in the vein of: Agent Steel, Exodus, Defiance, Helstar, Realm, Steel Prophet, Intruder, Forbidden, Blind Illusion) including killer high pitch vocals… ‘Dawn Of The Enforcer’ is the one you’re looking for. Order at: http://www.afterall.be/  /  http://www.myspace.com/afterallmetal  After All – good oiled Metal machine made in Belgium for all those into Bay Area Thrash Metal! 

My Points: 93 / 100 (Review by Stefan)