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Hell on Earth - 80%

Petrus_Steele, September 11th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2010, CD, Invictus Productions

Only a year after a pretty underwhelming release, Diocletian released War of All Against All which sounds interesting, but will it deliver in better expectations? First of all, the album cover is interesting, to say the least. I don't get the Satan thing of being naked, yet the wings look more angelic than demonic? It looks pretty straightforward, yet so much detail; in both design and meaning. I liked how Satan comes from the shield, which is the band's logo. But when you take into account the fiery and clouds in the background, it's like a rift that's been opened and the background from the shied is like nothingness. Alternatively, in the vinyl version, there's a different album cover of mankind, as the title suggests: all against all. Then there's a more explicit content cover of Satan that is also available on the vinyl version.

Kinda strange how all of a sudden you get two songs below two minutes, yet the final track is at an astounding sixteen minutes. For whatever reason that may be, you can only hope that it doesn't sound like a waste of time. Then the rest of the tracks are at around the same pace as the debut. And also by the looks of it, this might be the band's best record and there's only one way to find out if that'd be the case.

Black Dominion sounds pretty standard, yet heavy for its slow intro. As the song wreaks havoc with sheer blast beats and very fast and catchy riffs, this definitely sounds more like a death metal song. The production also sounds great. I guess they managed to make audible sound with proper use of the desired raw sound. Supposedly the title track, All Against All starts with some loud guitar noise and drums blasting until the grindcore essence breaches in within the guitars and drums. I like the strong tone from the guitars too, as the drums greatly complement. The unique death growls also sound on point. As the song progresses, some drum layers with the cymbals are revealed, and thanks to the guitars it brings out from this song more for its short length. Kingdom of Rats is simply a chaotic track that speaks for itself. It's got all I could mention in other songs already: the riffs, the blast beats, the combo of shrieking and death growls (oh wait, I didn't specifically mention that but there you go). Death Tyrant sounds magnificent. Proper raw death metal sound with a lot of power that's driven by great rhythm and the drums are fucking obliterating. The guitars later even create some sort of an atmosphere, not to mention later there's the cool shouting with the drums. Flawless drumming and riffage. I guess Infernos would have to be the grooviest track on the album. It kinda sounds standard and predictable for the most part, but the outro has some nasty grooves. The drum patterns are also neat.

The first shortest track, Desolate Earth sounds pretty messy. All I gathered were the loud cymbals, incomprehensible vocals, and a badly-mixed song. Might Is Right is one of the slower songs on the album, with having slow drums, riffs, and prominent death growls. This definitely gives a different taste to what the band wrote back then, as it shows the band doesn't have to sound entirely the same, from start to finish. Ironically, as I was opting for something like this, maybe this song, in particular, wasn't the best example. It's not bad but a bit boring. Nuclear Vomited has the best guitar solo and even great bass grooves, but its overwhelming chaos makes the song sound rather simple. The second shortest track, Blood Aeon is exactly like Desolate Earth. Finally for the longest track on the album, Fortress of the Unconquerable was, indeed, a waste of time. It's got a pretty long intro of about three minutes. Then the song progresses to some of the laziest and boring riffs I've ever heard until the vocalist starts heavily reads through the lyrics. Repeating the word 'Chaos' in a very commanding way until the actual song and instrumentation ends before the eight-minute mark. Then the song is on straight and replayed horrific sounds, hence the waste of time. It sounds more like a long, instrumental outro rather than an actual song.

Overall, War of All Against All is a pretty solid war metal record. I find it to be more death metal orientated to my likings, with the new content being better than expected. Though it still has its ups and downs; like the shorter songs and that pointless last track. If that's the direction the band will be taking, with being more death metal orientated, especially with more death growls than shrieking, then I'm in. Best tracks are Kingdom of Rats and Death Tyrant.