Having been a fan of AOW since before “Truth in The Age of Lies” was released, I was delighted to hear that my favorite metalcore band of all time was about to drop a new record. Although they are not a full-time touring band anymore, they still play shows, festivals and also continue to release new music. And that music they continue to release, continues to be extremely heavy. This new record, my friends, is no different.
From the opening 4 count of the first track, SNAKE LEGION, this record delivers nonstop heaviness. Aside from the AOW trademark breakdown where vocalist Mike Score angrily shouts “We are one!”, they pretty much go full on grind core on this track.
Hell, they pretty much go full on grind core throughout the entire record. Although they dabbled in blast beats on previous releases, it seems to have become a mainstay on this record. Take GLORIOUS DEVASTATION for example. Blast beats from start to finish, with only a quick rest during another sick-ass breakdown AOW style.
The third track on this release is WRATH. Another sonic onslaught that is a bit heavier on the guitar chugs reminiscent of previous AOW releases ending in an evil scream from longtime front man, Mike Score.
HIDEOUS DISDAIN starts off slow and very “doom metal” before picking up the pace with a mixture of blast beats and more chugs from Andy Petroluongo and Taras Apuzzo who share guitar duties on this record. The fifth track, THE END IS ALWAYS NEAR is another perfect example of AOW went total grind on this record without losing their “apocalyptic charm!” Then track six, CAUSTIC ABOMINATION, comes. It’s almost as if they were playing a trick on you while writing the song. They play a slow, heavy riff that makes you think they are going to play a song with a long intro part (as they have done on most prior releases), and immediately launch into blast beats after playing one bar. Like, Boom! That escalated quickly. I thought that was quite brilliant, and then the breakdown came. Metalcore perfection.
REVEL IN MISERY is an absolute insane song that is almost nothing like your typical AOW track. With the grind core blast beats, insane guitar solos, and creepy bells during the breakdown all mixed in. This song delivers everything to you in one shot. Up next is the title track, CELESTIAL ROT. This track has most of the same formulas of your typical AOW song aside from the very low growl that has made an appearance a few times on this record. The march feel of the next track, WEAVING OBLIVION, displays the solid rhythm section that is Eric Carrillo on bass and Jesse Sutherland on drums. And finally, HORRID SHROUD OF HEAVEN, closes out this release. Weaving both new and old sounds of AOW, this track is nonstop energy and delivers that eerie, apocalyptic sound that all fellow AOW fans have come to know and love.
All in all. This release is well worth it. Many have described AOW’s sound as a mixture of SLAYER and the CRO-MAGS. So, if that is the case, then they can now throw DEICIDE and DISASSOCIATE into the pot as well. Grab a copy.