Tour de Force


  • Axl Rosenberg

281x211I’m all for break-up sex. Yeah, the relationship is over, and yeah, it might be kinda bittersweet, but you were into each once, so why not enjoy one last fuck, right?

To that end: I really appreciate it when a band announces that they are going to break-up, and plays a few last shows to give the fans a chance to say good-bye. Burst have done it, and now another long-standing MetalSucks favorite are doing it: At All Cost.

At All Cost was one of the first young bands MetalSucks ever really got behind. Vince saw them play SXSW right around the time they got signed to Century and sent me a frantic text telling me I needed to check out the band. Their full-length debut, It’s Time to Decide, kicked my ass proper, and by the time their first (and, sadly, only) Century release, Circle of Demons, came out a few months later, I was every bit as fanatical as Vince. Seeing the band live only bolstered my take on them as a young band to watch.

We’ve seen At All Cost’s break-up coming for at least a year now. The announcement that the band is officially calling it quits isn’t a shock. Still, it’s a bummer, to put it mildly. The band was plagued by line-up changes and label snafus and God knows what else. I strongly suspect their inability to connect with a wider audience has a lot to do with the fact that you can’t really put their music in a box; they’re clearly influenced by Swedish melodic death metal in the vein of At the Gates, but just as clearly influenced by electronica and blues and hardcore and Sabbath and who the fuck knows what else. As Vince recently observed, AAC were using a vocoder before anyone had heard of screamo-crunk, only unlike the bands that define that genre, they didn’t suck. They could do pretty much everything and anything; their willingness to play with genre conventions echoed no less an outfit than Faith No More (who, like AAC, may have accidentally helped spawn a terrible trend in metal).

It is my sincerest hope that people discover Circle of Demons in the years to become, and that it becomes one of those cult albums where a decade after its release everyone is asking “Why didn’t we listen to this band at the time?” But while we wait for that to happen, the band will be playing two farewell shows in their home state of Texas this December.

I’m not completely clear on who is in the current line-up. Drummer Jon Oswald e-mailed us to tell us about the gigs, and I’m assuming that vocalist/keyboardist Andrew Collins is still in the fold. Lead guitarist Mike “Lonestar” Carrigan is now a member of Darkest Hour, but I’m guessing he can use a holiday break from touring to play these gigs. Will bassist/uber-comedian Clean Bobby be returning for these shows, or will the dude known only as “Liam” be playing? Guitarist Trey Ramirez is now busy with Pack of Wolves, so I don’t know if he’s gonna play these gigs, or if his replacement, Ryan, will be filling in.

It would be awesome if the five dudes who made Circle of Demons were all coming back together for these sayonara shows, but even if it just ends up being 3/5ths of that line-up, they’re totally worth going to – like I said, this band slays live. As just about every singer in the world says at the end of a set these days: “THIS IS YOUR LAST FUCKING CHANCE.”

12/18 Austin, TX – Red 7
12/19 Houston, TX – Walters

If for some reason you’re still not familiar with At All Cost, please visit them on MySpace. There’s even some demos of a couple of now never-to-be-released new songs.


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