When metal historians look back on the 2000s, they will no doubt remember the first decade of the 21st century as a time in which Europe dominated death metal, black metal, and gothic metal while the United States dominated metalcore. That said, it isn't as though U.S. metal bands and European metal bands are oblivious to one another in the 21st century: American metalheads are often influenced by European metalheads, and vice-versa. On Awaken the Dreamers, Oakland, CA's All Shall Perish maintain a sound that is essentially American but has a definite fondness for European metal. The material on this 2008 release is technical metalcore with elements of technical death metal -- specifically, the technical death metal coming out of Scandinavia. All Shall Perish sound like an American band, which they are; technical metalcore is the primary ingredient, but Nordic death metal is a prominent influence. Although Awaken the Dreamers has its melodic moments, melody and nuance are really afterthoughts on this 35-minute CD. Ultimately, Awaken the Dreamers is about brute force; nasty, harsh, dense, and unapologetically vicious, All Shall Perish go for the jugular more often than not. Awaken the Dreamers isn't a bad album; the material isn't remarkable, but it is generally worthwhile. Countless other U.S. bands have been mining the "technical American metalcore meets technical European death metal" waters, and while All Shall Perish aren't the absolute best of the lot, Awaken the Dreamers is at least a decent and noteworthy effort from these brutal Northern Californians.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson
Track Listing - Disc 1