All Else Failed - This Never Happened (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

All Else Failed

This Never Happened (2004)


All Else Failed are definitely growing as artists, but they sure let the growth develop over time. The hardcore/metal outfit has their normal array of mosh-inducing-yet-techncial-in-its-own-right songs affixed complete with short chug interludes, dynamic changes disregarding otherwise normal structure within tracks, and fist-raising backups. One of the most notable tracks, "In Our Defense," trips over string flicks in the bridge and a catchy chorus line of "we just don't know any better." As a whole, imagine a more raw/straightforward and less technical version of The Dillinger Escape Plan. There are times, however, when rather abruptly, the vocals switch over to this Reach the Sky-like quality, things slow down, and they resort to more emotional, reserved midtempo upswings. These songs, especially "Departing Flight," or "Waterlogged," the latter of which relies on soft cymbals and mellow picking in the verses and a yearning chorus with only a slight percentage of screamed vocals, and times like the acoustic groundwork laid under forlorn, eager crooning in the intro of "All Good Things," are welcome departures from the rest of This Never Happened if not completely unexpected ventures into more accessible territory. I guess even intensity lets sentiment in on the action once in a while. TNH doesn't completely grab me by the throat for its forty-six minute running time, but there are plenty moments of nicely flowing yet unpredictable directional change in the songs or hooks in general that prevent dulling filler from appearing often. MP3
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