Review: Allfather – And All Will Be Desolation

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Label: Rotting Throne Records

We all need a band like Allfather in our lives. The UK five-piece exemplify all that is good in metal, with their mission in life seemingly to be to remind us all of just how much fun heavy music can be. With a combination of sludge-tinged riffs, commanding, gruff vocals, and an all-around “fuck you” attitude, Allfather are here to make heads bang. They achieved just that with first album Bless the Earth With Fire, and now follow-up And All Will Be Desolation continues that mission, with tighter song-writing, a greater sense of confidence, and impassioned lyrics that do their “riffs against fascism” merch justice.

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Five of the Best: Allfather Influences

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The music of Allfather is founded on what seems like a relatively simple premise: “Beards, Metal, Fuck You“. Theirs is metal that fully understands and appreciates the power of The Riff, moving with raw, irresistible power and purpose. Yet, as enjoyable as their music most definitely is, they are also an overtly political band – as Bless the Earth with Fire and new album And All Will be Desolation demonstrate. It’s unsurprising, then, that they are a band with a vast array of influences, with literature and film as much an influence as other bands. We asked the band about said influences, and here’s what each member came back with.

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Album of the Day: Allfather – Bless the Earth With Fire

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Label: Self-released

Allfather want you to have fun when you listen to metal. Their debut album, Bless the Earth With Fire is full of the same kind of hard-hitting, powerful riffage as the likes of High on Fire, and it’s every bit as enjoyable. Wedding huge doom/stoner riffs to a hardcore sense of energy, this album is one sure to inspire headbanging and mosh pits in equal measure, making metal feel as exciting, as vital, and as fun as it ever did.

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2016 Favourites – And The Rest

2016 has been the year that saw me listen to, and review, more music than ever before. For every release that gets reviewed, there’s several that I don’t have the time to write something on; or that I listen to, but simply don’t get excited over. It’s also worth bearing in mind the purposes of this blog – exploring the underground. With the odd exception (such as the new Darkthrone), I have no interest in writing in the “big” releases; I want to help give some exposure and coverage to the small and underground, not go chasing whatever review or feature will get me the most hits. I’d also point out that it’s easy to lose sense of what actually is mainstream and underground when you spend so much time immersed in music. Sure, everyone may have access to Bandcamp and Youtube and a legion of Spotify recommendations, but  it’s easy to overestimate just how big our favourite bands are.

That said, there’s still some mainstream releases I’ve really enjoyed this year and want to share some thoughts on in another post. But here, I want to take the time to give shout-outs to those more underground releases which didn’t quite make the cut for my list of 25 favourites of the year.

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Allfather – Inherit The Dust (single)

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Label: self-released

I wouldn’t normally write about an individual single – especially not when it clocks in just shy of five minutes – but some things are worth making an exception for. Inherit The Dust by Allfather is one of those things. Building on the riff-heavy foundation laid down on their Bless The Earth With Fire album earlier in the year, Inherit The Dust is a slightly mournful, yet still incredibly powerful, cry of protest against the self-defeating Western interventions in the Middle East. High On Fire style riffs and melodic dual-guitars combine with an almost hardcore intensity to superbly rousing effect, with vocalist Tom being in especially fine form as he leads the protest. Metal has a long history of decrying the futility of war and senseless killing, and Inherit The Dust is a strong continuation of that legacy.

What makes the single even more notable though – and especially worthy of your time and money – is that Allfather are donating all proceeds from the single to humanitarian charity Help Refugees. It’s great to see a band not only take a stand for a good cause, but directly support said cause. That the song is great doesn’t hurt, either, and should help Allfather gain some of the recognition they deserve as one of the finest purveyors of riffs in the UK metal underground today – not to mention being thoroughly decent guys.

Inherit The Dust is available to stream and download from Bandcamp.

2016 Favourites (so far)

There’s a lot of music out there; too much to adequately cover, and it’s easy for worthwhile records to get lost in the sea of noise that exists on the internet. That’s why I’ve decided to present a list of some of my favourite records of 2016 so far. As with all my lists, they may not necessarily be the ‘best’, but they’re my favourites, and that’s close enough. There might be the odd one that got released at the very end of 2015, but whatever. It’s the thought that counts.

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Allfather – Bless The Earth With Fire

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Label: Self-released

Sometimes, a band will make it easy for you to know what they’re all about. It might be their artwork, an album title, or statements on their merch. The UK’s Allfather do so through the last option, with the reverse print on their Rasputin shirt summing them up pretty perfectly: “Beards. Metal. Fuck you.” Given this, absolutely no one should be surprised that Bless The Earth With Fire is a half hour of riffs upon riffs upon riffs, each one feeling heavier and more powerful than the last. Much like High On Fire, Allfather tap in to that element which sits at the heart of metal – the power of The Riff – resulting in music that is as good as impossible to resist.

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