All We’ve Known – Dissidence (Review)

All We've Known - DissidenceAll We’ve Known are a South African metalcore band and this is their debut album.

All We’ve Known’s chosen style of music is modern metalcore, mixed in with some electronic elements. The typical structure is that of heavy verses with harsh, shouted vocals, combined with a more melodic, emotive chorus with clean singing. Yes, it’s a style that’s been done to death, (like most styles), but why I like All We’ve Known is simply because they’re good at what they do and avoid a lot of the obvious traps that metalcore frequently falls victim to.

Dissidence is refreshingly lacking in the usual set of tired riffs and lacklustre performances. The band display an obvious, real passion for what they do, and this translates into the music with a lot of force. The heavier aspects of the music seem largely more informed by the metallic side of the metalcore equation. Also, despite its occasional electronic influences, this is not a djent album, nor is it so packed with breakdowns that no semblance of actual songs remain.

No, instead of all of the easy, fast-routes-to-banality that most bands of this style tend to take, All We’ve Known have actually taken the time to craft real songs, with depth and hooks. That they deliver these songs in a modern, metalcore style is almost incidental. What matters here first and foremost is the ability to capture the listener’s attention, to then hold it, and to entertain. Dissidence accomplishes this nicely. The band don’t outstay their welcome either, and the album’s 40-minute duration is more than suitable for this type of music.

Another strength that the album has is the singer. His harsher shouts really are harsh, and he even descends into growls now and again. His clean singing is well-performed and emotive, and he knows his way around a good melody.

Apparently it’s still possible to create modern metalcore albums that are high quality. Who knew? Well, All We’ve Known did. No, it’s not perfect, but it is better than most. Dissidence is probably the best example of this style I’ve heard in some time.

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