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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