All Is Suffering — The Past: Vindictive Sadisms Of Petty Bureaucrats (2002)

29.09.2003  :: АрхивАрхив рецензий Автор: Chris Alfano

Before I had the opportunity to hear their music, I already knew a few things about All Is Suffering. A handful of articles from numerous sources advised me that they were a Maryland-based quartet which specializes in a rather eclectic brand of extreme metal. They also seemed to have an interesting sense of humor (more on that in a future installment), not to mention an unreasonable distaste for Buddhism. It sort of makes me wonder; what kind of traumatic childhood experience could possibly induce contempt for a philosophical system which embraces tolerance as one of its central tenets? Isn’t Catholicism supposed to fit that bill? Then again, maybe these guys know something that I don’t. Maybe we should be investigating the Dalai Lama’s private life, instead of blaming Pope John Paul for his failure to include compulsory neuterings as a requirement for priesthood.

Alright….now that I’ve successfully veered completely off-topic, let’s get back on track. «The Past…» is essentially a collection of AIS material from three different recording sessions. The first five tracks consist of the band’s newer material, while the remaining songs were either culled from their 7 (released in 1999), or taken from an early demo session. I usually have an aversion toward discography-type albums, but I must admit that this disc has provided me with one of my more interesting listening experiences in recent memory. I don’t necessarily mean to imply that AIS is unique, because each of the songs on this album reminds me of something I’ve heard before. But they confront the usual pitfalls of blandness or originality by throwing a blanket of crust over everything. As comparisons go, imagine the agonizingly heavy plod-core of Bolt Thrower’s newer material, the frenzied mind-fuck of early Napalm Death/His Hero Is Gone, and the frightfully unbalanced melodic structures of The Bodybag Romance. Agitate thoroughly, then dust it off with the raw attitude of Amebix. This recipe should give you a rough approximation of what AIS is up to, but you’re still not quite there. While they have undoubtedly predisposed themselves to negative karma, AIS truly delivers with this exceptional slab of well-tempered brutality.

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