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After All - The Vermin Breed (CD)

After All
The Vermin Breed
by Grigoris Chronis at 14 April 2005, 9:03 PM

Let's start this review by stating that the promo copy I got in my hands is brilliant! Apart from the entire The Vermin Breed album, a movie trailer concerning the band's new album and the video for the song Descenting Pain - from the 2002 Mercury Rising album - are also attached. That's the scope for a serious record company: to supply all media partners with sufficient A/V (audio/visual) info in order to achieve the most globular review possible. Thumbs up to the Dockyard 1 label!
Hailing from Belgium (I love Killer and Crossfire!), After All have already released more than five full length albums and a handful of EPs/ 7 singles. Formed in 1992, this band focuses both on CD and vinyl releases (great guys!) and has established a rather good fame across the European scene - don't know 'bout the other side of the ocean. Sharing the same stage with bands such as Paradise Lost, Voivod, Saxon, Tiamat, Therion, Psychotic Waltz, Apocalyptica, Overkill and Anthrax , After All are the kind of hard workers who let their work speak for themselves, keeping a rather low profile.
The band's music, an amalgam of the fine melodies of NWOBHM (enough), the riff components of Thrash (mostly) and some fresh elements of what I like calling modern Metal (a little bit). Hence, it's easy to understand that the band mixes both old school values with the up-to-date fundamental principles. There's a strong plus that drew my attention in The Vermin Breed: produced by Harris Johns - if you're into Euro Thrash, you definitely have at least twenty albums in your collection that have been produced by him - this album features a set of songs, the worst of which can easily be considered as very good.
I was torn apart by tunes such as the Forgotten opener, The Great Divide and Deny The Dream, where sharp guitar chords interact with proper double bass drumming and impressive bass lines. The guitar solos are not complex; still they are based on cleverness and a tension for heterogeneity from track to track. The vocals of Piet Focrul tend to get modern sometimes, yet without losing the grip, while the man delivers great harmonies in some softer parts scarred in the album. If you want comparison with names: lots of (good) Metallica, a little bit of Pantera or Paradise Lost, some resemblance to the mighty Bay Area scene in the rhythm guitar work, a Euro-Thrash-meets-British-Metal rhythm section, slight Slayer evil-isms here and there, the ghost of the Mausoluem Records sound for those who know…
Of course we WON'T chat over the production… It's just tremendous!
The Vermin Breed is also released on (blue) vinyl via Killer Metal Records, for all the vinyl junkies out there. Still, be it analogue or digital, After All is - from now on - a personal non 80s favorite of mine. No dragons, no females, no heartbreaks… Just furious riff-full Metal the way few non 80s (again) bands can deliver nowadays!
- Album Highlights: The first eight tracks…

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Forgotten
Maze Of Being
The Insufferable
Unnamed Sorrow
The Great Divide
Reasonable Doubt
Cascade
Deny The Dream
Downward
Lineup:
Piet Focroul - Vocals
Dries Van Damme - Guitars
Christophe Depree - Guitars
Erwin Casier - Bass
Kevin Strubbe - Drums
Record Label: Dockyard 1Records
     


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