Hey there, everybody! Welcome to the fifteenth episode of A Scene In Retrospect! The year might be drawing to a close, but this feature shows no signs of slowing down yet; neither does the album our PR/social media managers Inter and Valentin will tell you about today: Awaken The Dreamers by US deathcore legends All Shall Perish. Enjoy!
All Shall Perish have a special place in my heart. When they released Hate, Malice, Revenge, I’ve started to get into metalcore and deathcore, so they were one of my entry points in the genre. And while other bands were about brutality, All Shall Perish were always about melody and songwriting. This improved a lot on The Price Of Existence (which I still consider as one of the best deathcore albums ever released), and reached its highpoint with Awaken The Dreamers.
In 2008, when they released their third album Awaken The Dreamers, I was slightly drifting away from metalcore and deathcore. I’ve lost interest in the scene and got into prog, jazz, post rock and other genres, so I wasn’t that excited about a new All Shall Perish album, even though I considered The Price Of Existence a masterpiece.
Only based on respect and some kind of nostalgia, I got Awaken The Dreamers and put it in my player. There were still noticeable deathcore elements on the album, but at least an equal amount of melodic death metal and progressive metal. Chris Storey was on his zenith as a lead guitarrist, ASP‘s courage for quieter, calmer moments brought some interesting dynamics and contrasts into the music, and the melody work was simply outstanding. Eddie Hermida’s vocals were incredibly expressive and on point, while the overal mid-tempo pacing of the album had a very mature vibe to it.
You can’t talk about Awaken The Dreamers without mentioning “Black Gold Reign”. It became one of ASP‘s most iconic songs, partly thanks to Cam Pipes (best known as lead singer of the now-defunct Canadian heavy metal band 3 Inches Of Blood), who performed this amazing high-pitched falsetto scream. Nevertheless, my personal highlights were songs like “The Ones We Left Behind” or “Memories Of A Glass Sanctuary”, which were led by melancholic, almost tragic melodies and stood out with a really remarkable vibe throughout the album.
At the end, Awaken The Dreamers is an album full of great melodies, interesting songwriting and outstanding individual performances. It’s a must-listen modern metal album, and should be regarded as a modern classic.
Deathcore – a genre that I once really loved but unfortunately lost most of my interest for in the last few years. While it once was a genre full of great guitar riffs, melodies, and overall interesting instrumentation (I’m looking at you, As Blood Runs Black, Salt The Wound, After The Burial […]), I feel like it turned into a rather generic contest about who tunes the lowest, plays the heaviest breakdown or has the most evil lyrics around. Today’s deathcore just doesn’t do the trick for me anymore…
Well, good thing I can still listen to masterpieces such as All Shall Perish’s Awaken The Dreamers, which in my opinion is one of the best deathcore albums ever written! I somehow forgot about it, but thanks to this feature, my love for it was reignited pretty quickly. It took about three minutes of listening to Awaken The Dreamers (once again) for me to remember why I enjoyed this album so much; “When Life Meant More”, which is an absolute banger of an opening track, was just over, and “Black Gold Reign” came up next when nostalgia hit me hard.
It almost feels like this song represents my teenage years of music-listening, because it literally combines almost everything that I loved about heavy music back in the day: catchy melodies, a super-sick guitar solo, and just a whole bunch of amazing riffs. Apart from that, I want to point out the little ‘heavy-metal-high-pitched-scream’ about halfway through the song, which is close to being my favourite musical moment on the album.
“Black Gold Reign” might be the most outstanding song on the album (at least for me), but that doesn’t mean that the rest of the songs on Awaken The Dreamers are bad, not by a long shot.
All Shall Perish simply managed to create an album that can be considered as one of the best of its genre. Everything is so thoughtfully written! No solo feels over the top, and while it’s heavy as fuck, it’s still not neglecting the melodic side of things. The musicianship is on point, and the production fits the mood of the album pretty accurately. So yeah, listening to this is an incredibly fun experience from start to finish, and I would recommend everyone who hasn’t yet to check it out immediately. Trust me, it will be worth it!
And that’s all for now! What are your thoughts on/experiences with Awaken The Dreamers? Are there any particular bands or records you’d like to see covered in A Scene In Retrospect? Let us know in the comments!
We’ll be back in two weeks with another classic review! Until then, do stay safe out there, and as always…
…thanks for reading!