'All Is Not For All' is the second album from United Arab Emirates band Anuryzm. Formed in Lebanon in 2003 and now based in Abu Dhabi they are, on the basis of this album, taking the world of progressive metal to wonderful heights. They are a completely new name to these ears but I shall actively be seeking out their debut, 'Worm's Eye View', because if it's half as good as this then I'll be salivating! Taking elements from many genres of metal, adding a Middle Eastern flair, wonderful lyrics, musicianship that is second to none and an ability to create highly vivid pictures in my mind, means that I'm recommending this band extremely highly. As I always say, comparisons to others are unnecessary because you should always try and judge a band individually and actually listen to what they have to say, but many will require some reference point. In that respect, Symphony X, Pagan's Mind, Opeth, Devin Townsend, Orphaned Land, Dream Theater plus Pink Floyd spring to mind and also Israeli group Distorted Harmony who were one of the first bands I reviewed for Metal Discovery back in 2012.
Kicking off with the beautiful 'Mineral' almost lulls you into a false sense of security as it is a fairly laidback track with which to start the album. Piano and acoustic guitar slowly build and you are also introduced to the wonderful vocals of Nadeem Bibby, who has a pretty remarkable range from soothingly high to low growls of acid aggression. Once the full-on riff of 'Full Agonist' hits you then you know you are listening to a pretty special CD. John Bakhos' guitar work is amazing throughout, whether that be of the electric variety or the stunning use of acoustic instruments, which also adds a somewhat Mediterranean feel to proceedings. Jay Jahad complements the guitar work with a huge array of synth and piano which add a haunting complexity; bassist Rany Battikh sounds like he was born with fifteen fingers such is his dexterity but there is never a sense of ego or overplaying. Lastly, Imad Dahlel provides the drums and some quite mind bending time signatures. Once again, there is never any feel of overplaying and, although some passages fry your brain timewise, you never feel overawed by anything because it all fits together so well and Anuryzm really are as tight as a very tight thing!
Anuryzm have also seen fit to include some superb guest musicians on 'All Is Not For All'. Mike LePond (Symphony X), Uri Dijk (Textures & Ethereal) plus Charlie Zeleny (Whiplash) all make their appearances felt and there is also a surprise in the form of cellist Christopher Chaplin (youngest son of Charlie Chaplin) who makes a more than valid contribution to the song 'Oceans Apart'. As already mentioned, lyrically, this album is superb. Coming from a person who is useless at remembering lyrics and tends to listen to them after the drums and guitar work then that says a lot. There are a variety of subjects covered that fire the imagination and, when integrated with such good music, everything feels complete. 'All Is Not For All' also sounds superb and was mastered by three time Grammy winner Bob Katz. Add to that, stunning artwork and packaging and you have a product reeking of quality which is very pleasing to see in an era when you know this CD won't be shifting huge amounts.
If you've never checked out the quality of metal coming from the Middle East (other than a few obvious names) then you really need to become immersed in the region. There are some fabulous bands out there who sometimes find it tremendously difficult to get their music heard by the masses. Anuryzm can already be rightly placed somewhere near the top of the pile after listening to 'All Is Not For All' and if they can produce this quality on album number two then bettering it on the third is going to be mighty difficult indeed.
Melodic Revolution Records
ALL IS NOT FOR ALL
Review by Rick Tilley
15th June 2015
2) Full Agonist
5) The Challenger
6) Oceans Apart
7) All Is Not For All
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...taking the world of progressive metal to wonderful heights."