All Fear Death are a five piece heavy/metallic hardcore band from Scotland, featuring members of Revulsion and xSERVITUDEx. Releasing a five song demo in February 2018 they quickly established themselves as a band that aren’t messing around. Now they’re back, after opening the Sunday lineup of Outbreak Festival less than half a year into their career as a band, with a two track tape, Northern Unrest and Mind Of Madness, and it’s clear to see that this is a band intent on pushing the scene to the limits of what heavy really defines.
The artwork on this tape is dark, simple and gives you an insight into what you’re going to get when you hit play. A stripped back, crushing barrage of doom influenced metal and hardcore that has been honed in a very short space of time. It is worth noting that all the artwork on this tape was created by guitar player Owen.
We open with Northern Unrest, kicking off with rung out guitars and a plodding drum line, setting an unsettling tone for the recordings before breaking into an aggressive barrage of blistering hardcore that wouldn’t sound out of place on a compilation with bands like Xibalba, No Zodiac and Nails. Its urgent, fast and takes no prisoners in its approach. Vocal breaks and mosh parts intertwine cleanly with the upbeat rhythms, showcasing well thought out writing and structure indicative of more seasoned bands. Following the meat of the track the exclamation of “SCOTLAND”S HARDCORE/NORTHERN UNREST/JOIN OR DIE” gives way to a violent breakdown, pounding through to the end of side A aggressively and abruptly.
Side B is Mind of Madness, clearly much more metal influenced in composure and structure. The howling, almost pained vocals ring out over guitar-less drums at a much faster pace. This track speeds through metallic bass, mosh oriented hooks and faster breakdowns, showing you the spectrum of aggression this band is truly capable of. It’s thrashy, angry and upbeat in sound but the lyrics are anything but. A harrowing pile of sadness and despair screamed at you with a venomous flair that has become Andrew’s signature style over years with his other project, Revulsion. It brings the tape to a close on long, ringing guitars, reminiscent of more death metal and doom influences.
Throughout the entire tape Ben and Owen’s stomping guitar tone is in your face, forcing you to listen to it with its alert ring. This is propped up by Aaron’s harsh, metallic bass work and Ryan’s punchy, thundering drum lines. Andrew’s vocals almost sound pained on this record, the emotion and strain in every word adds a dimension of urgency to this bands sound.
Over all it’s clear that this band takes heavy influence from both ends of the spectrum with obvious nods to hardcore, doom, death metal and even punk in places. While this is definitely not intelligent music, its arrogance, swagger and pure ignorant aggression is sure to get the band wherever they want to go.
Keep your eyes peeled for a show near you because they are definitely not one to miss.
Photo Credit to Johnnie Machray and Jack Allan
Listen to the demo and this two track at: