All Out War, Condemned to Suffer

John Darnielle

By John Darnielle

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

There's pessimism, there's despair and then there's Condemned to Suffer, the final album from NY hardcore crossover pinups All Out War. Through 12 uptempo and generally mosh-worthy numbers, the band rams its grim thesis home with a focus that can only be described as "possessed." It's hard to locate the philosophical ground for All Out War's rage &#8212 is the world going to end because God says so, or because mankind has done of poor job of things? In the end, it doesn't matter; the point is that blood will flow, fire will rage and everybody's gonna die, so we might as well turn the guitars way up and get the double kick-drums working. There's a real appeal to rage this pure: no love songs, no introspective cheese-mongering, no sleep 'til Brooklyn. Even the three or four slow sections grind like clenched teeth. At its best (the anthemic harangue of "Destined to Burn," or the get-in-the-pit whirl of "Heaven's Coming Down"), Condemned to Suffer makes you wonder if the world really is going to end. And that's cool.