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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.