After All

Cult of Sin

Written by: EW on 27/04/2009 20:22:20

So, time for review of another band whom I have to wonder what they have been upto since forming apparently just the 21 years ago? Today its Belgium's (hardly a hotplace for metal) After All for whom we are in the release cycle of album no. 7, "Cult of Sin". My only previous encounter with the band comes from their support slot to King Diamond in London in 2006 who serve as a good template for half of the sound which After All produce.

Though perhaps I was probably at the bar at the time, I find myself not remembering these Belgians primarily through possession of such a bland moniker. It's fair judgment to say all the cool words were grabbed long as band names but these guys formed in '88 so they have no excuse for 'After All'! If the then youthful EW did watch their support slot 3 years ago, he would've seen a band that would ultimately be classified under that odd, modern category 'death/thrash' - think Darkane, Dew-Scented and Gojira perhaps. But are After All more than that? Vocalist Piet Focroul certainly gives it his best shot as pushing the album from a respectable solid release to something more memorable. Mr Focroul has an interesting hoarse tone which bares grit, passion and a feel of wisdom in moments like "Hollow State"’s chorus which does so much more than a plain growl or simple inexperienced singer would. In "Cult of Sin" you'll hear a variety of influences common to many of the 'new-old-school' (Municipal Waste, Evile) thrashers but the execution comes across very different here. Pantera in "Devastation Done", Slayer in "My Own Sacrifice", Testament in "End Of Your World" all become apparent but those influences are fleshed out with a chunkier more precise performance and production on both guitars and drums than the aforementioned Municipal Waste's of this world. The King Diamond classic metal influence is there across the album and possibly the key reason for "Cult of Sin"'s semi-success. Instead of the simple chuggathon of far too others many today, After All only descend to that state briefly in "Hollow State" as this void is filled more pertinently by some classic chorus and backing vocal structures. The glorious, pompous feel inherent in "Land of Sin" displays this very nicely.

Short instrumental "Doomsday Elegy (2012)" does nothing but sound forced and as such is a waste of space in such a short format, but otherwise "Cult of Sin" is a perfectly amiable record. Infact it is quite good and I want to be able to say it will get further listens at some point after this review but that is hard to commit to through, Piet Focroul aside, the overly-sanitised feel of the whole 'package' that sits After All and their album no.7 alongside so many others in a 'death/thrash' pool that neither reeks of the best in death, or thrash. Perhaps I need to see them live again and take some notes this time.


Download: Release, Hollow State
For The Fans Of: Gojira, Slayer, Pantera, Testament
Listen: Myspace

Release date: 29.03.09
Dockyard 1

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