When it comes to Speed and Thrash Metal, I’ve been wrong for many years. Only since I’ve started working for "The Metal Observer" I realized just how many Thrash Metal bands there are. In comparison, there are far too few Speed Metal bands. I’m slowly starting to feel that Speed Metal only plays a really small role in the Metal world anyway. Thanks to AFTER ALL from Belgium it becomes apparent that there still are neat Speed Metal acts on this planet!
With their sixth album, "This Violent Decline“, the quintet delivered a true slab. The thick guitar sound as well as the riffs, which instantly go for your neck, are by the book. The whole thing is wrapped into a mix between HEATHEN and old BLIND GUARDIAN. Most of the songs dwell in the fast up tempo field, but yet there are some calmer mid-tempo parts, which makes the whole thing very varied. Sophisticated Speed Metal on the highest level, so to speak! The thunderstorm of riffs is interrupted only by the 2-minute instrumental “Monolith #11”. As a bonus track, you even get the video clip for the opener “Frozen Skin”.
Bottom line: Finally there’s a breath of fresh air in Speed Metal! For fans, get it!
(Online November 2, 2006)