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After All - Waves Of Annihilation Award winner

After All
Waves Of Annihilation
by Yngwieviking at 20 August 2016, 12:34 PM

It seems that I’ve already preached for it in vain : the experienced AFTER ALL from Brugge is a criminally underrated band but I’m ready to repeat it again once more, after all this is my credo, my holy task of destiny and yes, I will accept this ungrateful duty : Walking against the wind and try to convince an incredulous crowd that our dear Metal music is still damn alive and well in the old continent, kickin’ stronger like never before!

After all it doesn't cost me much :
AFTER ALL is a criminally underrated band, but they are indeed worthy to be cited among the best Europeans outlet in the fierce Metal category. They could probably be the best incarnation of the conquering flagship; a strong guide in the renewed Belgian Metal scene, and among the most credible and strongest contenders for the highly coveted European throne of steel. For the bunch of believers that already had the privilege to have an encounter with this now worldwide released CD, wrapped in a beautiful digipack, I mean the hotter than hell platter under the nickname of “Waves Of Annihilation” published by NoiseArt Records, which is their 9th full-length CD, this statement seems obvious…For those who still need the latest push to purchase it, it's a no brainer my friends…I am still standing here, pretty glad to engage my credibility on this fact!

Perhaps the new titled offer “Waves Of Annihilation” is their best ever published and it contains as on the previous two releases, as the ultimate secret weapon, featuring an additional technical force : the Swedish knobs tweaker magician, Mister Dan Swanö (an Highly talented musician, reputated from NIGHTINGALE/WITHERSCAPE fame) who once again was behind the mixing desk, had delivered a fantastic work, by building a crystal clear production spell, with crushingly force yet an high end heavy sound, but still keeping his signature transparent and open sound design…No overload peak and no loudness stupid war attack!

In the same focused effort to push things to absolute perfection and in order to reach the highest quality degree available, the whole involved artistic team is set at the most demanding classy caliber attitude and every little detail was updated to the max, each players input is reaching its top notch level, not unlike the amazing cover art created once more by the undisputed number one : The legendary designer behind MEGADETH/DEATH classic highlights or more recently youngsters like MUNICIPAL WASTE/SUICIDAL ANGELS imagery, this is the pure genius style of Mr. Ed J. Repka.
This is yet familiar, 'cause this is the third consecutive AFTER ALL’s release for which Repka provided his talented to the visual artwork, with his typical hordes of terrifying mutant walking deads, his famous graphic signature, putrid zombies skeletons hungry for human flesh!

I must confess that in 2012, to my surprise, I was pretty amazed by those stalwarts from Belgium named AFTER ALL; indeed I was immediately ultra convinced by their new sound enhanced by fresh parameters, with their “Dawn of the Enforcer" that was already astonishing in giving a new point of view in the recipe, built around in a delicate yet balanced mix of Nordic Power Metal flavor with the good American old School East Coast Thrash Metal very similar, to the perfect equilibrium found by the contemporary ANTHRAX method demonstrated with the latest “For All Kings” or “Worship Music”… The same confirmed impression with “Waves Of Annihilation”…Oldest METAL CURCH and latest FLOTSAM & JETSAM or even ONSLAUGHT/ARTILLERY’s specificities will also come to mind quite often…Always in setting under a rushing stamina of guitars & adrenalized at its fullness, Inspired and staying far from the surperfluous tricks of the so called revival Thrash Metal jump-wagon retrowave fashion!!!

With 44 minutes of intense bursting Metal, AFTER ALL will always favor the complexity instead to dumb brutality, the complex structures with some sporadic harmonized twin guitars (“After The Hurt Is Gone”) and the clever instrumental violence will always be stronger in efficiency to the worn out breakdown clichés…That it's pretty clear now, AFTER ALL is a bloody underrated band!

The track number 8, ”Lost In The Crowd” reveals a very subtle and matured songwriting spirit and open some exciting new expectations and perspectives for the future! Except for the first bars of the opening riffs in the number “Rejection Overruled” that explode in a flury of 80’s Bay-area riffage with aggressive vocal lines similar to Bobby Ellsworth (OVERKILL), the sound of “Waves Of Annihilation” is unexpectedly down to a more sophisticated detailled and rich type, “Fall In Line” and the closing number “Destructive Force” sounds more like an early SAVATAGE lost track than anything else, and believe me, this comparison in my mouth (or under my pen) that’s truly an huge compliment!

The same exigency of perfection applies to the vocal style, with only few guttural verses, but mostly some very skilled parts, some falsetto’s gimmicks (“None Can Defy”) with very good modulated technics (“Target Extinction”/“Fall In Line”) and incredibly powerful moments, embelished by some antagonist patterns : grumpy versus amazingly controlled high pitch screams (“The Unsual Sin”/’First Class Terror”) and some first-rate Tenor/Operatic/Dickinsonian singing method!
“Waves Of Annihilation” possess all the characteristics to convert even the most sceptics among us…This summer, you are all welcome and invited to this consensual Headbanging feast!

Production: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9 

4 Star Rating

1. Rejection Overruled
2. Target Extinction
3. The Unusual Sin
4. Fall In Line
5. None Can Defy
6. First Class Terror
7. Restore To Sanity
8. Lost In the Crowd
9. After the Hurt Is Gone
10. Destructive Force
Sammy Peleman - Vocals
Dries Van Damme - Guitars
Christophe Depree - Guitars
Frederik Vanmassenhove - Bass
Bert Guillemont - Drums
Record Label: NoiseArt Records


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