Sunday 29 August 2021

All I Live For - We Are The Angels

Labels: Self-Released

Formats: Digital

Release Date: 27 Aug 2021


1. Intro

2. See My Soul

3. Godspeed

4. We Are The Angels

5. Set Me Free

6. Awaken

7. Breathe Me In

8. Rise Again

9. Brand New Day

10. Here We Belong

11. Spirit

12. Save Our Hearts

I read a mind-blowing statistic the other day that said there are 62,000 new songs uploaded to Spotify every day! That means there are 62,000 songs and countless bands competing for listeners each day. It's tough out there in the age where anyone can upload their music to the Internet and be heard instantly. The same can be said for online music sites/blogs (ironically, like this one!), where people can publish their opinions on music at the push of a button. Some are good and some are bad, but for bands any publicity can turn out to be good publicity. That's just my very general assessment of the state of things currently.

Moving on from that thought to a band that I recently featured in an introductory piece last weekend. Leeds-based alternative rock/metal band All I Live For released their debut album We Are The Angels yesterday on all digital platforms. They've been quite brave in releasing a full-length as their debut recording, as the majority of new bands tend to test the waters with shorter EPs in my experience. That's just an observation though. Another one is the fact that Bandcamp recommends that you listen to the likes of Baroness, Boris, Torche and Red Fang if you enjoy All I Live For, which is pretty encouraging in comparison terms this early on. Let's see if the album backs that up...

Beginning with a clear and melodic Intro, We Are The Angels kicks off properly with 'See My Soul', which is the album’s lead single. It features a mix of harsh vocals and clean singing, as well as similarly heavy guitar and percussion. There’s something quite progressive about it, which helps it to escape the trap of just being another modern-day rock album. All I Live For have their own influences, which are spread throughout their sound. On ‘Godspeed’ there are glimpses of those influences including well-trodden approaches borrowed from the likes of Metallica, Trivium and Alter Bridge. That’s a guide for new listeners and not hyperbole. There’s a lot more going on here and instrumentally the band are a lot stronger than I was expecting initially. 

They also achieved a major coup prior to the album’s release by working with Grammy award winning mastering engineer Gavin Lurssen. That experience shows through here and helps give the record an edge in terms of final delivery. The title track ‘We Are The Angels’ takes on the hard rock genre without sounding generic. It’s soaring chorus standing out in a really well-written song. More of that classic/hard rock vibe flows into ‘Set Me Free’, which is slightly minimalistic compared to the songs it follows, but there’s nothing wrong with keeping it simple. All I Live For maintain a chuggy metal sound too that serves them well, while not being too aggressive, meaning that they remain approachable to new listeners who might not have ventured to the heavier side of the genre just yet.

They’re never too far away from a proper rock ballad and it comes at the album’s mid point, in the form of ‘Awaken’. It sounds like All I Live For are playing it somewhat safe here musically, but then again they’re not trying to sound showy either. The addition of choir/group vocals towards the song’s conclusion, joining a more than solid guitar solo show good awareness of variation. As you reach the second half of the album, there’s much more assurance about the band’s sound. ‘Breathe Me In’ is mature and again not over-complicated. Some people would call it inoffensive and they’re right, but that doesn’t have to be a criticism. It’s certainly radio-friendly and that could prove to be important for such a new band.

One thing that I have noticed about the album’s latter half is that the songs become shorter and punchier as a result. ‘Rise Again’ is a case in point, with a more urgent tempo from the drums, more excellent guitar/bass work and vocals to match. The upbeat tempos also match the positive lyrics. ‘Brand New Day’ is a song that twists and turns it’s way through four minutes of melodic metal and even some punk-like guitars too. It’s actually really well put together. ‘Here We Belong’ is one of the more off-kilter songs on We Are The Angels, mixing time-signatures with a dramatic vocal presence. At first I was a little bit unsure about the guitars being so far back in the mix, but it adds a layer of subtlety that’s quite pleasing. They’re loud and up front when they need to be but don’t overpower the recording. 

By the time penultimate song ‘Spirit’ begins, you’ll know what to expect from All I Live For. I know the album’s not over yet but the musical familiarity that builds throughout it is very consistent. To complete the record, final song ‘Save Our Hearts’ comes full circle with the chorus that was used briefly during the Intro track, leading into one final highly charged yet controlled rock song. Mike Pearson, Anthony Frith and Dave Williams have pulled off a really strong debut album. Stronger than I was expecting given it’s twelve songs. So the Bandcamp recommendation algorithm was a little out, but don’t let that put you off. All I Live For are only beginning their musical journey but they deserve their chance. I’ll be watching their progression with real interest.

You can stream and purchase We Are The Angels digitally via Bandcamp below, as well as on all other major digital platforms:-

Visit their website and social media profiles below:-

Website -

Facebook -

Twitter - / @ALLILIVEFOR

Youtube -

Instagram - / @allilivefor

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