In 2016, After All’s ninth album ‘Waves Of Annihilation’ caused quite a stir in the heavy metal press. “The best speed metal album ever made on European soil”, André Verhuysen wrote in Aardschok (Holland), helping the Belgian band’s record get to the 3rd place in the magazine’s soundcheck. Rave reviews also appeared in Germany’s Rock Hard (5th place soundcheck), Deaf Forever (8th place soundcheck), Rock Tribune (9/10) and numerous other publications around the globe.
Amidst the buzz that surrounded the record, singer Sammy Peleman decided to retire from the metal scene. Talk about bad timing. For most bands, it would have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. Not for After All though. “Instead of going on tour to promote the best album of the band’s career, we had to start looking for a new singer”, says guitarist Dries Van Damme. “We got submissions from all over the place, even from Sweden and the US. But the right guy happened to live around the corner.”
That right guy is Mike Slembrouck, who can be heard on After All’s brand new EP ‘Restore To Sanity’. The EP offers two tracks from the ‘Annihilation’ album, featuring the vocals of After All’s new powerhouse singer. Slembrouck easily masters Peleman’s trademark high-pitched voice, adding a much broader range and tons of power at the same time.
The EP is available as a limited edition 7 inch single on purple vinyl (including download code), featuring artwork by Ed Repka. Dan Swanö remixed the songs. “Slembrouck is even beter than Peleman”, Verhuysen wrote in Aardschok. “And that means quite a lot. With the new line-up, After All consolidates its status as best speed metal band of the Low Lands.” So yes, After All are back on track, planning live dates and working on new material as we speak.
No retreat, no surrender, indeed!