The opener of The Forever Lie may be titled Beneath The Waves but it certainly isn’t drowning. The song opens with a deceptively indie guitar and tom drum part before breaking into the chugging pre-verse riff and the thundering verse. The first vocals to be heard are the crunching screams that take the whole verse before the tuned vocals hit in the chorus. The following breakdown is one of the few about that doesn’t cut to half time yet is still extremely heavy, which suits the track well. Next comes The Sons of Plenty which doesn’t mess about with the indie introductions anymore – straight into the brutality of the verse. Screams and chugging, malevolent guitars bring the real gritty sound to the track, and the strong rhythm pins the solo down to its well-performed sweeping and sustained notes.
The title track begins with the heavy styling outlined in the first two tracks and continues with harmonised leads panned to each side for maximum effect. The raw grit in the tuned vocals here are demonstrative of all the vocal ability, and the screams that back them up are sharp to fit with the technical instrumental. There is no fade out – the rhythm and leads all keep going right out to the end for an abrupt finish. Twice Broken provides a heavy introduction with vocals that remain melodic through the verses and stack up in layers, with the chorus being space-filling as it fills with delayed gang vocals to bring the restraint through. It then all breaks down just before the halfway mark with a quick double-kick beat that gives rise to screams and cymbal crashes.
Surprisingly, the heaviest pieces on The Forever Lies doesn’t hit until fifth track Bones. The opening is just a wall of noise with harsh, raw screams over the top to create a total space fill. The breakdown hits with the biggest ferocity the album holds with natural harmonics ringing out between chugs of the beat-driven rhythm guitars. It then gives way to closer Terracide which is arguably just as heavy as Bones. The opening again follows a similar formula of brutality-melodic chorus-brutality, though solos atop the rhythm riffs bring a lovely depth to the sound that brings through the immaculate guitar tones that make the album.
Overall, The Forever Lie is a solid release that shows All Else Fails are only getting better with more experience. Having produced six very good tracks that would fit into their setlist to play anywhere, the EP will combine with the rest of their catalogue to make for fantastic headline or support slots with whoever else in the hardcore scene.