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Better Than Most Metalcore - 89%

Fear_Shining_Yrael, March 19th, 2007

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.