ALL OUT WAR “Celestial Rot”

By Dr. Abner Mality

This shit is more violent than a Mexican prison riot. ALL OUT WAR are undisputed veterans of the extreme music scene, but I’ve always considered them hardcore more than any other musical style. They fit the original definition of “metalcore” before that got perverted into something else entirely in the early 2000’s. As undoubtedly aggressive as they were, I found their old material to be a bit on the monotonous side.

“Celestial Rot” proves that even after more than 20 years, you can reinvigorate your sound. This is the best ALL OUT WAR album I’ve ever heard. They have injected a sizable amount of black metal influence into their core style and the result is remarkable. Imagine if MARDUK grew up in the Bronx instead of Sweden. The hardcore breakdowns are still spades!...but the black metal trimmings have even put a kind of strange melody to this sonic assault and battery. The intensity of death metal is here, too, and the first two tracks “Snake Legion” and “Glorious Devastation” are a killer introduction to the new and improved ALL OUT WAR.

The album flies by and almost every song falls in the 2 and a half minute range. Not a lick of fat on this sucker. And no drop in intensity. Compliments must be given to vocalist Mike Score and his rage filled screaming...he doesn’t have death metal monster vocals or black metal troll vocals. He just sounds like an incredibly angry human being that wants to wipe out everything in his path. It enhances the general mayhem of “Celestial Rot” to an immense degree.

Not much more to be said, but more than 25 years in, ALL OUT WAR are just starting to hit their stride.