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All Life Dies – Ghost Dust Award winner

All Life Dies
Ghost Dust
by Andrew Graham at 01 November 2021, 7:00 PM

Texas-based Blackened Death Metallers ALL LIFE DIES hit the ground running with an absolutely stonking good EP. Bearing all the familiar features of the aforementioned genre, with the addition of deeply calm and contemplative moments that fans of OPETH would certainly recognise and appreciate. Oppressively brutal sections are broken up by moments of beautiful mourning and a real sense of regret and self-reflection. In a trend that is so very common these days, the gentlemen here are clearly not afraid to play around with and stretch genre conventions, and to great effect.

“This Grave Is My Home” opens in the manner you would expect of something like BEHEMOTH, which is, in all honesty, something of a curveball as the music here doesn’t remain quite so conventional in tone and mood. There are, however, enough flurries of creativity and breaks from the mood to suggest that the proceedings will not be quite as we may expect.

“A Red Night” is a short, but sweet, (tender even) lament that oozes longing and regret. It’s a genuinely beautiful moment and, though brief, haunts the listener long after it fades away. This whole release in lyrics and in mood is a candid willingness to stare the void in the face (relatable mood anyone?) This can be done in many ways, as these guys show. Spitting rage into the abyss is a very common coping mechanism but this exploration of the darkness can also be done in an almost bittersweet way. Track two deals, most definitely, in the latter.

“Ghost Dust” is a culmination of the band’s sound. The sweet sadness and crushing nihilism are beautifully combined into a song of great emotional depth and weight, a real soundtrack to the aforementioned staring into the abyss. Everything builds up to a quiet fade-out, before then erupting in a climax of emotional catharsis

A lot of modern bands have caught on to the fact that Black Metal can be deployed as a way of confronting irrational and questionable aspects of our modern lives head-on. It’s easy enough to turn away from complexity and lunacy in the world and tread the path of cynicism. It hardly seems like staring into the abyss seems like much of a solution, but there’s value in staring it in the face rather than running from it. ALL LIFE DIES have captured this mood perfectly in a release that leaves the listener absolutely gagging for more. I cannot wait to hear more from these guys, and anybody who is anybody would do well to follow them closely and watch patiently for great things to flow!

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. This Grave Is My Home
2. A Red Light
3. Ghost Dust
Jesse Santos – Vocals, Guitar
Joseph Martin – Guitar
Semir Özerkan – Bass
David Sanchez Jr. – Drums
Record Label: Lifeforce Records


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Edited 29 November 2022

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