Monday, August 2, 2010

Posted by xCHIPxSEM | File under : , ,

The news had slowly been leaking that All Out War had recorded a new record but no one knew much about it. The band's Myspace showed the cover art but no new tracks. Victory Records, their label, had the record up for pre-order but no new songs either. Finally, in a last attempt, we contacted Victory directly and they were nice enough to grant us a promo copy so we could review it. I was excited to hear it but worried that it might not live up to the last record, Assassins In The House of God. I was also a little skeptical since Jim Antonelli, guitarist, was nowhere to be seen and from what I remember, he wrote a good portion of the music. Back again is bass player Eric Carrillo who had been there since the beginning with a short hiatus and the man Mike Score, still dropping evil tales of the apocalyptic future and challenging those who believe in God to show proof of his existence.

All Out War as a collective will be the first to tell you they are metal band in a hardcore world and the record is influenced by equal parts Slayer and the Cro Mags. The first thing I noticed is the recording. Full, crisp, clean and very polished. Everything seems to be at the right level without anything overpowering and without it sounding overmixed. Musically, Into The Killing Fields reminds me of a cross between the good elements of "For Those Who Were Crucified" and "Condemned To Suffer". The record has its fair share of Slayer-ish riffs, less than the last record though, and straight forward fast riffs. The first 2 songs, Defiance Through Fear and Mercy Killer, call to mind the sheer ferocity that the band has become known for: heavy and fast with Mike's unique voice. No matter what's screaming, he always enunciates and is easily understood. With a band like this that places a heavy emphasis on its message, a vocalist that you can understand is key and they do a great job of being understood.

As the record progresses, the Slayer riffs begin to sneak in and track 4, Fear Those Who Claim Divinity (complete with Exorcist intro), is the first track that reminds you heavily of "For Those Who Were Crucified". Lots of gallops and double bass followed by that groovy breakdown that the band is so well known for. Oh did I mention solos? Oh yeah...loads of them, dive bombs too. The 90's called and they are happy you're keeping them in mind. The title track, Into The Killing Fields, starts off with a quick drum fill into a straight forward fast riff accompanied by loads of double bass before slowing down into a slow crushing gallop. After another verse the song picks up into a groove that calls to mind "Down But Not Out" by the Cro Mags off their Best Wishes record. More Slayer riffs finish off the track.

Alright now the negative. There really wasn't much about the record I didn't like but one of my gripes was the re-recording of the song "Curtain Call For The Crucified" now called "Still Crucified", the first song on the Assassins In The House of God. I don't see the reason for the re-recording personally as the original I felt was better but perhaps the guys thought they could do something different with it? I don't know...not a bad attempt but I just enjoyed the original version more.

The record is relatively short for this style, clocking in at just over 35 minutes but I feel like it works. Often, I find myself drifting off and paying attention to something but not this time. Overall, I give the record an 8/10. Im hoping the band makes its way out on the road again since its been about 10 years since Ive seen them. The record comes out tomorrow (August 3) so go out and support these hard working guys. Already in my top 10 for 2010.

Favorite Tracks: "Fear Those Who Claim Divinity", "Into The Killing Fields"

You can check out the band's page on Stereokiller and stream the record by clicking here: All Out War on