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For most of my time as an ardent metal addict, I've continued to mull over exactly what it is about metalcore that makes it extremely difficult to get into. It draws much of its noteworthy influence from styles that I've found myself liking, notably the late 90s Gothenburg sound and a melodic strain of hardcore that isn't exactly the worst thing to come out of the New York and New England scene. Even though I found myself being instantly repelled by most of what In Flames and Soilwork put out after 2001, it never quite dawned on me exactly what was leaving me in a state of utter boredom. Upon first hearing All That Remains' 3rd LP "The Fall Of Ideals" it suddenly hit me why nearly every band that plays this style tends to sound exactly alike and not to my liking.
Long story short, All That Remains is a niche band, and functions completely on a particular formula that eschews any sense of organic ordering or stylistic evolution. It's a bit less obvious on early albums where the sound they seek to achieve had at least some semblance of freshness, and on certain later albums by other bands where elements of 80s Metallica were being introduced to try to vary things a bit (with minimal success), but the punishingly orthodox character of this album hits like a ton of bricks. The most utterly predictable snippet melodic guitar hooks and chug-a-lug chugger riffs, played within the confines of a songwriting formula that isn't all that far from overt pop/rock radio fodder, trade blows with a grab bag mixture of clean, gruff, and gutteral vocalizations that is equally conformed to the same vapid symmetry, resulting in something that's about as involved as In Flames' "Reroute To Remain" but minus the industrial keyboard additives.
As with most songs in this style, the best songs are front-loaded onto the album like a severe case of premature ejaculation. "This Calling" essentially leads off with a violent thrash riff that gets itself tripped up on overuse of gallop rhythms, but generally doesn't relent apart from the chorus section where things enter overt Iron Maiden rip-off territory. One thing I will say in Philip Labonte is that his clean vocal work is not nearly as gimped and boyish as Matt Heafy's and a number of others in the same field, and he does do a recently compatent job as switching between vocal characters. "Not Alone" follows in the usual approach by attempting to fool the listener with a odd timed melodic intro before essentially kicking into a slightly slower and less thrashing version of what just preceded it, already exposing the artificially imposed limits of this style and its consequential drudgery. From here on in, the formula becomes more and more contrived as the same idea wears thin, thus every song sounds incrementally worse. Some sugary lead guitar lines that rival some of the technical work of European power metal bands and some slightly darker vocal work comes into play later to try and compensate, but comes off as sleek window-dressing adorning a misshapen window with rusted bars.
Every style of music has its generic adherents whom inspire little more than boredom in those with limited time to devote and standards to cling to, but metalcore has the unique disposition of amassing more of them than any other style on the melodic side of the spectrum. Rather than showcasing a passion for their craft by taking on the individuality of an actual craftsman, this band and much of their ilk simply churn out similar products in an assembly line fashion. It works for cars, but it doesn't work for music, and simply giving one model a nice cigarette lighter or a slightly different shade of blue paint won't change that. The metalcore phenomenon could actually be likened to a literal fall of metal ideals, though thankfully it didn't engulf most of the metal scene the way groove metal did in the early 90s, and will hopefully continue to decline in influence as the next fly-by-night fad comes to replace it.
I'm pretty sure we all can agree that the fundamental flaw in metalcore is that pretty much every band sounds the same. As I Lay Dying, Killswitch Engage, All that Remains, they all sound like variants of the same template; up tempo Gothenburg riffs, vocalists that pull every hat trick out of their asses, mechanical production, cliche triplet, quadruplet, sextuplet riffs, and breakdowns that sound like they're ripped straight from Far Beyond Driven and Vulgar Display of Power. All in all, this album isn't terrible, it just lacks the cohesion and originality for me to give it an "A".
The majority of the album plods along peppy, upbeat Gothenburg and triplet riffs. The lead work and solos are run of the mill Iron Maiden worship with some of the flair of the Amott Brothers. Shannon Lucas demonstrates his prowess for frantic rolls and blasts along with a nice control over what it is a heavily groove-orientated wankfest. As with the majority of metalcore, the bass is just there following the same basic progression as the guitars. Mr. Labonte has a fairly versatile voice, bellowing gutturals and grunts that resemble Phil Anselmo on Far Beyond Driven and The Great Southern Trendkill, high shrieks that sound like they belong on a sub-par black metal album, and clean sections that went through shit tons of chorus effects and pitch correction.
The standout tracks would be the opener "This Calling" and the climax "Six". Both open up with a barrage of blasts and tremolo riffs before settling into user friendly, mid-pace, verse-chorus-verse structure.
Since this essentially a more more mechanical version of "Alive or Just Breathing" (considering Adam Dutkiewicz is the producer, it's not all that surprising), I would only pay about $5-$7 for this bad boy. But since I have friends who a liberal when it comes to sharing cds, I don't really need to worry about pissing away cash.
With a very accessible melodic metalcore sound uplifted by a percussive but triggered low end, All that Remains doesn’t bend any genres or tear down old metal structures but plays into them with a sound just unique enough at times and generic enough at others to be a memorable and recognizable metal band destined for popularity but not nearly worthy of legend in creating anything new. The band’s sound isn’t new, just take a quick melody that easily breaks down into an 8/8 rhythm and play it twice with a single guitar and again with two. Under that throw in some unnecessarily quick snare and cymbal drumming while filling the open space with double bass kicks leaving no room for bass guitar as the vocalist screams, growls, and shows off his range until a catchy resonating sung chorus fills in the rest of the song.
Though this band should be dripping from all the generic sop that one would expect of a metalcore band trying to sound heavier than they can play, “This Calling”, “Not Alone”, and “It Dwells in Me” actually memorably open “The Fall of Ideals”. Though they feature every expected part of a metalcore track, the personality expressed by All that Remains brings a convincing and uncompromising attitude and angst to their uplifting sounding mix. “We Stand” features the expected solo to breakdown, “Whispers (I Hear You)” has the slow bouncing sound that’s opened by an acoustic, and “Six” is the powerful exploder of the album, but other than these standouts, the rest of this album doesn’t impress. “The Air That I Breathe” is again a very recognizable track, but after the hook its hampered by such boring and atonal guitar riffs that can’t do more than lead into the only melody of the track that it’s as though they’re trying their best to hang over the neutral zero and not expand their range whatsoever or even hope to move more than into another sappy harmonic melody then go into the atonal riff again. For all the audible exertion in this album, there just isn’t really any result for most tracks. “Become the Catalyst”, “Empty Inside”, and “Indictment” could have easily not been included, the riffs sound like they all could have gone into a single song, been drummed to a little slower and would have been about the same result with no need to change the tempo. This may be the biggest problem for All That Remains, they can play into their sound and keep a good meter, but the tempo changes are one of two things, either a slow breakdown into the hook of the track or ultra-speed for the hook of the track using only the low end while the guitars do the same thing over and over again. There’s only one focus, everything that drifts from the hook comes back to it no matter how many times one note has to be hit to bring it around again, and in the end I may as well just put on some reggaeton through seven tracks of this album and hear just as much movement and about the same amount of weight as All that Remains style becomes much too empty and singular in focus to really push any envelope or create interesting music in half of this release.
Like many metalcore vocalists, Phil Labonte says, screams, growls, sings, and projects a lot, but usually doesn’t say much. Anything more than the usual positive messages about self-empowerment, upholding your beliefs, and being yourself won’t be found, anything having relevance to something more than individualism, anything with metaphor or symbolism, or any motifs are completely lost on this album instead for defiant and simple phrases that any large group of people can scream over a five note guitar harmony and feel strong for belting out. This is metalcore at its most bare bones, easy on the palate, accessible, uplifting the listener, memorable in the moment, and forgotten by the next season.
The track with the best sound, “The Weak Willed” probably has the worst vocals throughout this album. The riffs actually move, the drums play into the opening sound, and the band actually throws in a progression or two instead of hanging on a single structure. This track is the most death metal sounding of “The Fall of Ideals”, but again the guitars end up trying too hard to get to the hook and then end the song to really hone in on the slow and brooding sound death metal creates.
In all, “The Fall of Ideals” by All that Remains seems casual metal for casual listeners. If you’ve got a Bullet, Trivium, Avenged, or Disturbed fan around, they’d probably get into this album, but as a band that can do anything more stylistically for metal in general than be another band out there that kind of gets it, this isn’t it.
On The Fall of Ideals All that Remains finds their sound combining metalcore, melo-death, and a technical edge. This album is far above the average metalcore or melo-death band in terms of songwriting and entertainment value. Unlike many other metalcore bands All That Remains doesn’t just retread old ideas, they introduce new aspects. Every song on this release fits well together and as a whole this album is very cohesive. The Fall of Ideals shows what a metalcore/melo-death band should sound like.
The Fall of Ideals mixes the typical metalcore leads, riffs, and melodic vocals with the more brutal, fast-tempo of melo-death. Breakdowns are rarely used instead the two guitarists focus more on technical leads and solos. Vocals are used in two ways either the more typical low pitch death growls with higher pitch screams or the very melodic chorus based metalcore clean vocals. All the songs range from mid-tempo to up-tempo riffs which are usually based around a strong repeating lead and main riff. Not one of these songs is below solid and most are much better than an average metalcore song. The production is clean and mixes ever instrument well so you can clearly hear each one.
The bands performance is excellent easily showcasing some of the most skillful musicians in either metalcore or melo-death. Philip Labonte is easily one of the most talented vocalists in modern metal, showing off an impressive range and contributing great choruses to every song. Mike Bartlett drumming is mainly double kick bass focused as with most modern drummers but he uses ample fills and some great rhythms. Both Oliver Herbert and Mike Martin show off their skills with some very excellent riffs and leads especially the very technical yet melodic Six and The Air That I Breathe. Jeanne Sagan’s bass guitar is beyond notice mainly because it is almost entirely inaudible and is overshadowed by the rest of the band member’s performances.
A few minor weaknesses are present on The Fall of Ideals barely bringing down the score. Many of the songs could have been extended because they seem to end abruptly especially on Six and The Air That I Breathe. The lyrical approach is cheesy mainly focused on personal struggles the usual metalcore garbage. Finally The Fall of Ideals overall length could have been longer, like the songs the album ends abruptly.
The Fall of Ideals is easily a metalcore/melo-death classic and should be considered a high point in All That Remains career. Best songs are This Calling, Not Alone, Whispers (I Hear You), Six, and The Air That I Breathe. I recommend this album to any fan of metalcore/melo-death who actually likes depth to an album.
-2 points songs ended to fast could have been extended
-2 points the lyrical approach is cheesy and unoriginal
-2 points overall album length end to short also needed to be extended
All That Remains was formerly a melodic death metal band. With this release, they have easily shown a their more metalcore side. "The Fall of Ideals" is definitely an album to check out if you are an All That Remains fan, or just a metalcore fan in general. This album, packed full of clean and growled vocals, blast beats, and amazing breakdowns is a definite must have. It really shows the variety in All That Remains' music and lyrical content in general.
The first track off of the album, "This Calling" left an impression on my ears throughout the entire listen. Phil Labonte yells a horrifying, deafening scream. This song is a great opener and shows amazing double bass, especially during the breakdown. The second track, "Not Alone" is just as impressive as the first. Here, guitarists Mike Martin and Oli Herbert play a high-pitched dual lead. There is another perfectly executed scream once again, followed by growled versus and a extremely clean chorus.
In this song, you can easily here that he is good at singing fast while maintaining a mid to low growl. The rest of the songs on this album are just as good and, as said above, there is a big variety. In "Six" Phil's scream is the highest pitch I have ever heard from him. Also, in "The Weak Willed" there are absolutely no clean vocals, here you get some of the more melodic death metal influence of All That Remains.
The rest of the album is just as amazing. However, to me the downfall is that the majority of the songs are not long enough for me. I usually like music between 4-5 minutes at the most. These songs are, on an average, around 3 minutes. The longest song off on this album tracks in at just 4 minutes and 6 seconds (The Weak Willed.)
Overall, there is nothing bad t say about this album. Everything about it, the production, vocals, guitar, bass,and drums, easily exceeded my expectations. Producer Adam Dutkiewicz really had a major impact on how this album sounded. He always has a part in the top quality albums. If you are looking for awesome, consistent metalcore you should get this album today.
Highlights: "This Calling", "Not Alone", "The Weak Willed", "Six", "The Air That I Breathe."
All That Remains is one of those melodic death/metalcore bands that differ from all the other ones in the scene. This proven with there first two releases the straight melodic death metal "Behind Silence And Solitude" and "This Darkened Heart" melodic death with some metalcore elements. But "The Fall Of Ideals" by no means is as good as either of the two and it looks like they’re going for a mainstream and accessible sound. Proof of that is "This Calling" had charted and was on the Saw III soundtrack.
Musically it's more metalcore than anything else, following the stereotypical formula of alternating between screaming and clean pop like singing. Also the guitar solos here outshine the breakdowns, which are good thing and also are played with clean precision. The drummer is able to hold the rhythm of the songs together but the bass can't be heard at all through out the entire disk. The vocalist Phillip Labonte uses a variety of vocal styles hardcore shouts, clean singing, and even death growls and rasps mostly in "The Weak Willed" but holds them out on "It Dwells In Me" and in the beginning of "Become The Catalyst". The guitar player’s play with on point riff and at least keep the mix interesting and able to keep the listeners attention.
Although it doesn’t hit as hard as "Behind Silence And Solitude" and "This Darkened Heart". It still is good for what it is and is a good purchase for fans of metalcore or collectors. Good songs include "This Calling","It Dwells In Me","The Weak Willed" and "Indictment" and it's still is better than most metalcore on the scene today.
Metalcore isn't a genre that I'm a huge fan of. Most of the bands are very generic and unoriginal and most of them sound exactly alike. All That Remains, however, is a band that caught my attention. This band has elements of metalcore, but they also add a melo-death twist into their music as well. Other metalcore bands such as God Forbid and Bleeding Through do this as well, but neither of those bands has impressed me as much as All That Remains has. Some people might listen to this album and think that its nothing more than another generic metalcore album and to tell you the truth those people are probably right, but some people, including me, will love this album and think of it as a gem in the very bland and unoriginal metalcore scene.
The album starts off with This Calling and right away you get Phil's menacing high pitched scream. Its not high pitched like a black metal style, but more in a regular metalcore style. Anyways, while Phil holds a pretty long scream, the normal style of chugging metalcore guitar riffs are playing in the background. The riffs throughout the album are very melodic and thats where most of the melo-death influence comes from. After that the extremely catchy chorus comes in. I'm telling you that chorus might be stuck in your head for weeks. Phil let's out another long scream and the song continues on the same path. After Phil sings the chorus again, the duel guitars play the same melodic riff for about 15 seconds and then a breakdown comes in with Phil screaming overtop of that. Shortly after that there is a pretty short solo and it leads right into the chorus once again and after about 30 of that the song comes to a close.
Next up is Not Alone. This song starts off with the dueling guitars playing a melo-death riff. Phil screams and the melo-death riffs turn into metalcore chugging riffs. Once again after about 30 seconds another catchy chorus comes in with Phil's great clean singing. Just like This Calling, this track pretty much repeats the same formula. After they repeat the chorus they go into another solo that includes both guitarists. It sounds like something like In Flames would play. The chugging riffs and drums follow the solo and the chorus is repeated one more time before the song closes out the same way it started with the dueling guitars. Following Not Alone is It Dwells In Me. This song starts off with Phil's screams and some melodic riffs playing in the background and some pretty simple drum beats. Yet another catchy chorus comes in early into the song. Just like both songs before it, this same formula is repeated. That leads into the guitars playing some more melo-death influenced riffs and also another solo. Not too complex, but all the solos on the album are very well executed. After the solo, the band goes right into a breakdown with Phil screaming in the very common metalcore styled vocals. Right after the breakdown the chorus is repeated again and the song ends with a very death metal like growl and some regular metalcore vocals.
We Stand is the next track. It starts off with the melo-death riffs. After a couple seconds the riff continues and Phil comes in with his screaming/shouting vocals. About 45 seconds in the chorus comes in. This chorus is one of the more catchy ones on album. The same formula is repeated once again and Phil does some talking. After the chorus they go into a breakdown with some melo-death riffs added in as well. Then both guitarists go into another well executed solo. This solo is the most technical up to this point of the album. Another breakdown follows the solo and then the chorus comes in again and the song ends. Next up is Whispers (I Hear Your). This track starts off different than all the others with an acoustic guitar at the very beginning. After a couple seconds it goes into their regular metalcore/melo-death style. Then comes another chorus, which is my favorite on the album. Phil's vocals are absolutely amazing on this song. Especially his clean vocals. The song repeats the same thing once again. The chorus leads into a breakdown and then a short solo. The song repeats itself again and then ends.
Next up is The Weak Willed. With this song, you will notice big change in the musical style. This song is almost purely melo-death/death metal. It starts off with death metal style riffs and fast drumming. After about 20 seconds Phil comes in with a menacing death metal growl. He keeps up this style plus the regular high pitched scream throughout the entire song. During the chorus he doesn't sing. He uses the scream and the metalcore shout. His death vocals may remind you of the vocalist for Blood Red Throne. Around two minutes into the song the melodic riffs enter the song, but they don't last long. The fast death metal drumming and guitar riffs re-appear and the song goes to almost pure death metal again. About three minutes into the song Phil's clean vocals make an appearance, which is nice. The song slows down after that with a slow drum beat and a piano playing and then it ends.
Six is also another song that is very death metal influenced. Once again fast melo-death riffs and extremely fast blast beats start the song off. Then the song starts to follow the regular metalcore formula with a breakdown and the clean/shouting vocals. Phil also does some death growls in this song as well. At about 1:40 the song slows down and the guitar plays some slow, melodic riffs with a simple drum beat playing. At around 2:30 a pretty slow and short solo comes in and the song just pretty much repeats itself. Becoming the Catalyst is the next track. This song starts off with a death growl by Phil and some fast melo-death riffs playing with a pretty simple drum beat. There's not really anything special about this song or really any of the last three songs. They all pretty much follow the same path that the first couple songs did. Fast melodic riffs, fast drumming, catchy choruses, solos, etc.
All in all this album is really good. Like I said earlier, if you were to call this just another generic metalcore album, you would probably be right. The thing for me is that this was my first metalcore album and thats why I have a little soft spot for it. Its nothing groundbreaking and its not going to be considered one of the best metal albums of all time, but its very enjoyable and worth a couple listens. Or in my case, more than a couple of listens. If you are a fan of metalcore, melodic death metal, or both, you will probably enjoy this album.
At first, I found All that Remains to be a breath of fresh air in the metalcore scene. They seemed to be one of the few with a considerable influence of some form of metal, albeit the much frowned upon Gothenburg scene. The guitars were fast, the songs were catchy, the voice was good... they were a good band that I enjoyed quite a bit. After their newest album, The Fall of Ideals, had a couple spins under it's belt, I came to the conclusion that they are in fact an exceedingly average band, with nothing much to set them apart anymore and a crippling lack of variety in the record.
The difference in time between the longest and shortest song is less than one minute, which would suggest a similarity in the songs. That assumption happens to be right on the money. Every track has the exact same intro - verse - chorus - verse - chorus - break/solo - re-verse - chorus 2X - outro pattern that never ever deviates, and that's frankly annoying. Most of the songs are forgettable, which is obviously a huge negative. What the hell is the point of listening to an album that you won't remember in an hour? It's like crapping in a toaster... utterly pointless.
The members themselves are all competent, and Labonte has a versatile voice, it's just that it is unfortunately used poorly. It's always his harsh screams layered over each other three or four times in the verses and clean vocals in the chorus (except in each obligatory final chorus where he will inevitably mix harsh screams in the spaces without singing). Oli Herbert is a decent guitarist, and Bartlett is a solid drummer, but nobody ever stands out in this formulaic pile of sugar scented shit.
The only song that breaks this formula is The Weak Willed, which is absolutely god awful. It's like midpaced groove/deathcore bullshit, avoid what anybody says about this being the best song, their ears are obviously broken. The acoustic passage at the end does not save it from sucking a big fat one either. Absolutely terrible song. Everything else though, is textbook mediocrity. The Air that I Breathe deserves special mention for actually having an emphasis on melody and doesn't drone on boringly throughout the duration.
I can liken the approach to being like blowing up something with a missile. But the thing is, once you blow up one section, you have to blow up another one considering there's nothing left to obliterate after the first missile. All that Remains didn't get this memo, and they continually bomb the exact same clearing in the forest eleven times in a row, which is not only ineffective, but incredibly dull. I want to like this band, as they are definitely above average for most metalcore, but that really isn't saying much in a genre where mediocrity is not only accepted, but encouraged. Songs like This Calling, Not Alone, and The Air that I Breathe are catchy enough to satisfy a quick craving for mainstream metal, but anything more will just give you a gnarly stomachache.
Metalcore, one of several portmanteau genres of the metal world, typically turns me off. Of the many commercial juggernauts the genre has to offer, I’ve often felt repulsed by the overpowering influences of hardcore punk and alternative. When a friend played The Fall of Ideals for me, however, I was intrigued by the obvious melodic death metal influences the band incorporated into their latest release. After picking the album up for myself, the initial attraction I felt soon faded as the dazzle of powerful melodies and ‘get psyched’ lyrics faded.
The Fall of Ideals earned All That Remains number 75 on the Billboard charts and a lot of attention. I was surprised to learn they played last year at Wacken. The album was produced once again by Adam Dutkiewicz of Killswitch Engage to crystal clarity – for the most part.
Vocalist Phillip Labonte possesses excellent range. Some tracks assault you with guttural death metal growls or raspy screeching. Typical to the formula of most metalcore, Labonte breaks out the baritone to complement those melodious hooks and passionate riffs of the chorus. As cheesy as it is, the songs really are extremely catchy as a result and really resonate. Unfortunately, this aural addiction is short lived as there is not much behind the melodies to draw you back in once they conclude. The only thing drawing you back for another listen is a quick fix of mind numbing harmony.
Guitars on The Fall of Ideals are powerful and fast, yet despite the technical prowess of the guitarists, remain generic and uninspiring metalcore fare. Both guitarists play well off one another for excellent results. The painfully short leads in various parts of the album left me aching for more, but the majority of the songs failed to deliver satisfactorily. When most metal albums drown out the bass in their cacophony, it is refreshing when they are clear and distinct as on this album. The drums are also well done. Many songs make good use of blast beats for more metal influences, but the over use of bass drums tends to nullify many of the cymbals and other portions of drumming. Listening to the album on my Sony MDR-V6 headphones allowed me to pick up what sounded muffled over my speakers or in my car.
Lyrics seem standard for a metalcore album. Self-empowerment and a general sense of 'getting psyched' pervade, but there are also the, dare I say, more emo passages of whiny clichés and deep feelings. While this fits the style of play mostly, I still fight back rising bile when I hear "I see her in my dreams / Wish she was not there," or "Just want to feel again."
All That Remains stands out in the mediocre sea of metalcore releases as it draws more from metal influences like dual harmonizing and blast beats. What props it up above that crowd, however, rests on a flimsy foundation. Once you recover from the initial explosion of baritone melodies and enticing musical arrangements of The Fall of Ideals, you’ll find little remains to fill the void. Despite the negative aspects of the album, most metal fans, no matter their loyalties, should find something to interest them if only briefly.
All That Remains is one of the better acts amongst the many shit trend bands flourishing in this era. The majority of their music is, in my oh so humble opinion, metalcore tinged with technical melodic death influences. But, also note that the main reason I label it with the melodic death tag, would be Philip Labonte's type of singing, which usually fall into low, guttural howls and high pitched screams... and yeah, there is the baritone singing, as this is obviously of the metalcore sub genre and singing is pretty much... well... mandatory amongst this type of music...
First off, I think it'd be best to start off the in the vocal direction. Philip Labonte is the former vocalists of Shadows Fall, another metalcore act. From what I've seen, read, and heard, the reason for his being cut out of the band had to do with his style of singing making the band sound a lot darker/heavier than they were aiming for, which was allowing them to mistakingly claim to be a member of the death metal genre. While much of his performance in this album is rather generic metalcore screams, he does at time experiment and reach a very low, guttural sound (see The Weak Willed) more akin to the death metal genre... Also, he does, at times, breach out from the generic mid range howls into high pitched screams... (again, see The Weak Willed) The softer baritone parts that he sings in between screamed parts are pretty well done, and on this album the best example of his clean singing would be... either This Calling or... The Weak Willed... Yeah, track #6 is pretty much the best of the best on here. Overall, he's a great vocalist, and at times his talent really shines through in their junior effort.
On the subject of instruments, everything here is pretty tight knit. The guitars fall back on dual harmonizing (Iron Maiden influence... blah blah black, etc) for some catchy melodies and great solos. Oli Herbert and Mark Martin have amazing chemistry here, and are very proficient guitar players... and dare I say it, probably two of the best players in the "New Wave of American Metal". Yeah... Well, in any case they do show off their prowess in this installment with some very technical riffing and some other progressive elements they throw in every now and again. They do experiment some with different styles of playing, and I can't help but note a distinct lack of power chords for the majority of the album.
Jeanne Sagan is a pretty good bass player, I suppose. You can easily hear each note played in on the bass, and she does provide a very steady bass sound. Oh, and the bass is also quite palpable in comparison to most of the bass I hear in metal bands nowadays. Check out It Dwells In Me for some of her best parts on the album, though The Weak Willed also has a very heavy feel, too. On the drums... Jason Costa is a great drummer. Yes, there are many... MANY better drummers out there, but I've never heard him drop out of time or lose the beat once... And I'm counting live performances, btw. Good speed, etc, etc.
And finally, on to the main event. Lyrics. Yes, the genre is metalcore, yes there is emotion. But in a good way. The majority of the content is akin to the type found in hardcore, that of being a BMF, or Bad Mother Fucker. You know, being strong, powerful, getting psyched up and such. On the songs dealing with relationship troubles it's usually of a "Move, bitch, get out the way" deal, not a, "OMFG, ANGEL DUMPED ME, SO I GONE KILLS MEHSELF! SLIT SLIT SLIT /emo" deal.
In conclusion, All That Remains' third studio album, The Fall of Ideals is a better than average, but not really great album. For metalcore, it's just about one of the best albums out there, especially talent wise. Highly recommended for any fans of Post Thrash, Metalcore, Hardcore, Technical... everything, I guess, or Melodic Death Metal.
With the recent and overpowering metal core surge that the heavy metal industry has felt in the last half decade, many (many, many) metal core bands have gotten signed to labels that haven’t really deserved to have the attention they get. So needless to say I was very cautious picking this album up at the local music retailer. My caution has always been right.
All That Remains is more or less in the upper crust of metal core genre. They have talent (in their revolving door of band members) and as with a lot of metal core – they can throw in a pretty bad ass thrash riff every once in a while. Unfortunately, All That Remains really doesn’t deviate from the ABC’s of metal core for The Fall of Ideals.
Musically, The Fall of Ideals is mostly uninspired melodic death metal influenced hardcore. Most of the songs seem repetitive (riff overlaid with Iron Maiden “inspired” melody, breakdown, and repeat) and most of the songs are done in the same manner. Granted I have to give it that this album leans more towards the metal area of metal core rather than the hardcore aspects. The melodies are sometimes catchy and once or twice I found myself falling into the music then the breakdown would kick me out. Granted, I will give that there are some riffs that didn’t really sound too hardcore inspired, but they were few and far between. The drumming definitely seems to be focused on the bass drum (whether it was a production choice or a writing choice isn’t clear) and it literally consumes most of the other drum parts.
As for vocals and lyrics, both are equally uninspired. What’s that? Barking vocals intermixed with baritone softer parts? Sounds like most other metal core bands. And for some reason, it seemed to me as if ¾ of the songs began with a double bass and a scream. Lyrically, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of thought into the songs. Most are the usual metal core, “oh I can’t think about her leaving me, I don’t want to be alone” generality. Forget about clever phrasing or things like that, most of the more important lyrics in the songs are cliché phrases, “I hear this calling”…I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard that in a song.
In the end, I will say this. If you want this album: expect metal core. Expect more metal than core. Expect a mostly lack luster experience unfortunately. It is one of the better metal core albums out there – but really it’s nothing spectacular.
Songs to check out: This Calling, Six, The Air That I Breathe
All That Remains hail and call from the metal-core Mecca of Massachusetts. Their latest indictment itself remonstrating the fallacy of ideals, may be laconic; yet it wails and whispers the iconic culling of pure mettle. Philip Lebonte may dare dichotomously to dance between brutal banter and sharp penetrating vocal histrionics; but this does not classify the band as merely being metal -core. All That Remains have become the catalyst for angry tempered passionately powerful melodies. ATR are not alone in this resurgence and revivification of a classic metal sound. Several new bands now yearn to unearth the previous past-time metal glory.
Guitarists Oli and Mike have truly been trained as soldiers of steel in metal boot camp. Mike Martin's appetite for destruction will drive you crazy thinking it's so easy to slash and thrash with his useful elusive patience. Oli Herbert himself has earned a degree in music appreciation, and he studied under the tutelage of Frank Aresti of Fates Warning fame. His never lost angered adoration for Andy LaRocque clearly shines through in his graceful guitar guise. I also hear the music of Arch Enemy, Sanctuary, Megadeth, and even certain European power metal artists bleeding through as an influence. The cowering weak will wince once they undergo the chaotic crush of Philip's punishing prudence; after they succumb to Shannon's shameless deadly drumming, as he demonstrates his desire for extreme death metal. Mad maiden Jeanne Sagan sagaciously plays her bass like Rachel Bolan. Her uncouth, gone wild, approach is apparent with this kid rowing out rollicking rhythms. She also emulates "Iron Harry" as she picks away at her own peace of mind.
When Philip sings on tracks like the The Weak Willed or Become The Catalyst, he evokes Chuck Billy's low testament to baritonality, as well as Dani's filthy lacquer. Philip may also be compared to Anders Friden on cuts like Whispers and It Dwells In Me. The opening speed of Six sick section will just floor you, until it's melodic breakdown blows you away. After several intense revolutions, I'm instantly ensconced in all that remains of the sweaty air that I breathe, almost choking on the vile bi-lines of linguistic fortitude; yet still never feeling empty inside. Lyrically, the majority of the songs' subject matter concentrates on self empowerment and rising up against authority. Other themes embrace the pain and anguish of heart wrenching relationships.
ATR easily have the tenacity to follow in the shadows of the more successful mass artists. They have been receiving radical response while playing this summers Ozzfest. Eventually, this autumn they have the honour of opening for those inhuman dragons, forcing their modicum of metal into the hearts and minds of adolescent anarchists at sold out shows everywhere.
as originally posted at www.metalcdratings.com
On their last record, All That Remains showed that they had a much bigger european influence than manyof their metalcore counterparts. On this record many of those influences are lost. There are still melodies and harmonies and the like, however this is a very tone driven record, and one where Phil Labonte, the band's vocalist, really shines.
I was very impressed with this man's delivery on TDH, but here he just busts out a variety of vocal styles, all of which kick total ass. He can do death growls, a more hardcore approach, high shrieks that border on black metal, and a clean voice that fits just as nicely(to me anyway) as Jesse David Leach did for Killswitch Engage back in the day. Why Shadows Fall ever let this man go for the less than exceptional Brian Fair is a mystery to me.
As far as the sound of the band is concerned, I much prefer the overall tone and production here than on the last album. The guitars aren't as dry and have a punch behind them. The drums are deep and thick and when he decides to do a blast beat, the effect defintely hits you harder than it would with lesser production. The vocals are crystal clear and the record just has an overall heavy and thick sound.
As for the actual songs, they seem less polished than on TDH, but have a much heavier edge to them and have a much more death metal feel to them than on their previous material. The first song "This Calling" starts off with Labonte taking a breath and unleashing a gut wrenching scream over some ferocious riffing. Already you know you're in for something pretty intense. The clean chorus is perfectly executed, this is a great song.
What I enjoy about All That Remains is that they write RECORDS, not a cd with a couple of good tracks and a bunch of filler. They concieve their record nicely and have a natural progression and a cool flow between the songs. From front to back the songwriting is very good, the arrangements are well thought out and this record is fun to listen to. Plus these guys can play too. If there are any guitar enthusiasts out there, this record has some very solid lead playing as well.
This is just a good heavy metal record. Case closed...
I've been a fan of All That Remans since the debut album nearly half a decade ago. I loved the tasty riffs and frantic druming but this new album gives me mixed feelings.
I'll start with the vocals. Both clean and harsh vocals are both now evolved, and while the new and more gutteral harsh vocals are very much welcome... the clean vocals seem way to emo for their own good. Leave that sort of thing to Atreyu or whatever radio band you'd like.
The druming is more produced and tighter. The kick drum now sounds deeper and more like it's taken note from Lamb of God, which kind of mared the druming and nuances I had come to know them for. The musicianship in this aspect really hasn't changed, it still ranges from breakneck speed to the punchy cymbal riding melodic breakdowns and choruses.
Ah, the guitars. Not much has changed here, if you heard their previous effort, This Darkened Heart then you know what to expect. Maybe a few less solos per song, and mostly altogether.
What I said before about the clean vocals having an emo tinge, the same holds true for the lyrics. They become bland fast and fade into all the other bands out there and offer no new dimensions for a band I once loved. Such a shame, after waiting nearly 2 years for new material I feel so let down. This disc is more of the mindless metalcore we have come to know, love and ultimately forget.