All For Nothing – What Lies Within Us
For the sake of full disclosure, I will start this review with a confession: I harbour a huge fondness for All For Nothing. I love the unending energy of their live shows, I have enormous respect for their work and tour ethic and the people involved in this band in the past ten years (there have been a lot of line up changes) are some of the nicest folks I’ve met in hardcore. So everytime I play a new AFN record for the first time, I mentally cross my fingers and hope to be completely blown away. So far, this has never happened. I like their previous 3 full lengths perfectly well, but until now, that break out record that blows everything they’ve done before it out of the water has not come.
Is What Lies Within Us that break out record? Well..no, not really. If you have never liked All For Nothing, I highly doubt this release will win you over. It is, however, their most consistent record to date. Previous releases always had a few stand out songs and a lot of less remarkable ones. What Lies Within Us lacks those hit songs that immediately jump at you, but there is not a weak track on here. The band does not stray too far from their signature sound (melodic old school hardcore with some metal and punk influences, spices up with more modern flourishes), but this definately is some of their heaviest material to date. The songs are also drenched in urgency, finally capturing some (if not most) of All For Nothing’s relentless live energy. This is mainly due to the massive sounding beats and breaks layed down by drummer Jim, but creative and rocking riffing in songs like Beyond Everything and Nothing Left To Fear also provide a welcome kick in the nuts.
So no, All For Nothing has not yet recorded their Keepers Of The Faith, so to speak, but they are definitely getting closer. There is a lot to love here. I for one am eager to hear this material live at a show, since that is where All For Nothing shines most.