A long in the works side project that is the brainchild of Oceans Of Slumber and Shattered Sun guitarist Jesse Santos and was formerly known as FALL, Corpus Christi Texas based Blackened Melodic Death Metal group All Life Dies also features Oceans of Slumber bandmate Semir Ozerkan on bass alongside Joseph Martin on guitars and David Sanchez Jr. on drums. For this debut EP Santos cites influences from early Opeth, Insomnium and Behemoth and is himself is credited with guitars, bass, keys and vocals recorded by Chris Kritikos at Southwing Studio in Houston, Texas. Mixing, mastering and re-amping was then entrusted to Mark Lewis (Daath, The Black Dahlia Murder, Trivium) at Audio Hammer Studios in Florida.
What becomes apparent from very early on in this debut from what is essentially a solo project from Jesse Santos is just how talented and perhaps even underrated a musician he is. In his other projects he’s not the main protagonist, at least from the outside whereas here he shines with black light from the black depths. “This Grave Is My Home” is a brutal introduction to his work with throat splitting uncleans and thunderous percussive sounds that also has a beautiful clean vocal part while “Red Light” is an achingly beautiful acoustic and clean vocal affair that is absolutely jaw dropping and the polar opposite. It is clear that Santos has a plethora of ideas of his own that he has kept for this, perhaps not fitting in with the work of his other bands and some of them will certainly have heads turning from members of Oceans of Slumber and Shattered Sun. A guest solo from Daniel Benavides on the title track “Ghost Dust” is a moment of majesty that cuts through what is a more of Progressive Melodic Blackened Death Metal cut which blends the acoustics of “Red Light” with some bone crunching guitar work. Seamless transitions between the light and shade moments are carried off to stunning effect and you could easily see Santos following this path rather and leaving behind his other bands should he have the urge because the quality is simply incredible. In David Sanchez Jr he has picked a drummer that can keep pace and delivers some astonishing performances of his own, this finale being the best of them and closing the EP on a moment of epic grandeur, those influences being worn on the sleeve and shining through with a sense of pride [8.5/10]
- This Grave is My Home
- Red Light
- Ghost Dust (ft. Daniel Benavides)
“Ghost Dust” by All Life Dies is out 13th August and is available for pre-order over at bandcamp.