I’m not sure what is in the water in Newburgh, NY but All Out War needs to keep drinking it. It’s not often that a band can remain flawless for 25 years, and through multiple lineup changes, but Mike Score & Co. seemed to have found a way. The trend continues on the bands most recent outing, and first full length since Truth In The Age Of Lies not on Victory Records, entitled Give Us Extinction.

At this point if you aren’t aware of All Out War is, you almost entirely too late to the party. But for those that have been living under the proverbial rock, the easiest way to describe their sound has always been “Reign In Blood meets Age Of Quarrel”. Their seminal release, and the benchmark for which fans have always compared them too, 1998’s For Those Who Were Crucified and every release to follow are the epitome of the term “metalcore”. Equal parts thrash, crust punk, and skull smashing breakdowns, All Out War, never a hype band, have survived the test of time and trends through sheer volatile consistency.

Two years ago, we finally got a taste of what life after Victory Records was going to be like for the band. It’s no secret that the relationship with Tony Brummel hasn’t been the best in many years, even resulting at times for Score to tell audiences to just download a record and not pay for it. Free from the death grip, All Out War released the EP, Dying Gods, on Organized Crime Records and all bets were off. It was as if the band was shedding their skin. Maybe it’s a coincidence but the album was darker and the influences of bands like Kreator and Nausea were ever more present than previous records. While I have a love for Into The Killing Fields, this was certainly the best representation of the band since For Those Who Were Crucified. The musical theme was present and it was cohesive from start to finish. The only problem, it was an EP and therefor too short. Now without further ado, All Out War has presented the full entrée to go with the appetizer. The groundwork laid by Dying Gods forged the theme that carried over into this record but with 2 years between records, there was obvious room to make improvements. The guitars sound eerily similar in distortion and tone to FTWWC but aren’t muddied up. The drums have some serious pop, and not only serve as the backbone, but have become a pivotal part of the sound. The bass is layered just right so that you can hear it throughout but also provides just the right amount of bite to the bark of the guitars. Musically, this is more in line with Dying Gods as a darker, thrashier record but there are some eerily similar riffs, especially during some of the more “melodic” (for the lack of a better term) parts that are very reminiscent to the Truth and Crucified eras of the band. Example is the album’s first single, Burn These Enemies, just before the big breakdown towards the end there is a riff akin to Resist that lurks in there. Those types of riffs are sprinkled throughout the record as if to give a nod to the old days while still striving to remain fresh. There is also an increased urgency to get to the mosh parts this time around which has made this album their most reckless and violent outing to date. Even Mike seems to have more of a chip on his shoulder than any record before in both lyrics and delivery.

People tend to fantasize about the early days of All Out War a little too much. Sure, I’m partial to the old records but this is a band that has continued to march to the beat of their own drums and it has paid dividends as they have no bad records in their catalog. I’m going to make the bold claim that Give Us Extinction is the best record they have written, even better than For Those Who Were Crucified. The songs, the attitude, and the production are all increased to the likes which have never been known on an All Out War record. The album comes out on Friday but you should have already preordered it. Give Us Extinction is the best heavy record you’ll hear all year.