All That Remains
A War You Cannot Win

Wow.  This… ummm… folks this is bad.  I mean real bad.  I tell you what – if you’re a fan of All That Remains (as I am), then here is what you need to do:  Stop reading right now.  Go grab a copy of The Fall of Ideals, or the underrated Overcome, turn them up real loud, and forget that All That Remains has put out a new album.  Pretend they’ve broken up, moved to Europe to backpack their lives away, whatever helps you to forget this fact.  Agreed?  Now go have a good rest of your day.

Curiosity killed you didn’t?  Well ok, let’s say you didn’t take my advice and decided to give this new LP a spin.  You start it up, let the first few tracks play, and right away notice that Phil Labonte’s clean vocals seem somehow off and surprisingly weak overall; you even check the booklet to make sure it’s the same singer.  The gruff vocals are ok, you get a pretty ripping solo during track two that shows Oli Herbert still has the goods, but you can’t shake the almost ‘poppy’ feel of the first few tracks.  But you bear with it until track three, “Stand Up”, with its gimpy lyrics of “We’ve worked so hard… there’s no holding back now… stand up stand up we were right… you know we can’t be more justified”.  Yes it’s as radio-friendly as it sounds.  But you keep saying to yourself “I like these guys… I’ve been with them for a while… keep an open mind”.

“A Call to All Non-Believers” starts out with the harsh vocals you know so well, but there’s another cheesy chorus with its chant of “this is a call to all non-believers…a call to stand up and fight…a call to stand for what’s right”.  What is this an eighth-grade hardcore band?  But patiently you stick with it, as you’re seeing some true metal poke its head up like a groundhog, while growing weary of lameness smacking it back down.  But when “Asking Too Much” hits, now you’re getting really worried.  With the oh-so-metal chorus of “I know I’m asking too much… and you’re not coming back again… you’ll never be mine again… I’m not gonna find you outside of my door, but damn I won’t let you in”.  What should happen is that anyone outside of your door that finds you listening to this album should stab you with a spiked gauntlet and burn your entire metal collection in effigy.  Yet still you soldier on.

After the oddly-titled-for-its-place-in-the-album “Intro” plays through, now your head is really spinning.  The double bass backed chorus of “Moments in Time” restores a bit of your faith, but only serves as stark contrast to the laughably awful ballad that follows next – “What If I was Nothing”.  Have a gander at this bit of “metal” prose:

What if I was nothing? What if this is true?
What if I was nothing, girl, nothing without you
So what if I was angry, what did you think I’d do?
I told you that I love you, girl, I’m nothing without you.

Go ahead, read it a few more times.  Really let it sink in.  It’s at that point when you coin a new genre: whinecore.  And All That Remains are the new CEO.  “Sing for Liberty” is a scorcher, but by this time it’s all too late.  You have tried to keep an open mind, but that turned out about as well as MySpace did.  “Not Fading” is a steaming bowl of weaksauce, and even the title of the instrumental, “Calculating Loneliness”, oddly foreshadows your social life if you play this anywhere but a middle school pep rally.  When the trying-way-too-hardchants of “No! Hell No!” in the closing title track hit your ears, you’ve already tried to figure out how you can rid yourself of any traces of this album lest your metal card be permanently revoked.

A War You Cannot Win, eh?  That would be convincing people that this is not the new Justin Bieber album with double bass and some harsh vocals thrown in.This is not a colossal style shift (a la Morbid Angel) as All That Remains have always been on the more melodic side of metal/hardcore, but this is an embarrassment nonetheless.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kevin E
November 6th, 2012

Comments

  1. Commented by: E. Thomas

    Overcome was awful, and this sounds just as bad


  2. Commented by: gabaghoul

    some kid played an All That Remains track in a Turntable room the other day and it was horrendous. worse that it was a live track and the singer sounded like whiny boy band garbage but the song itself was also saccharine and lame. sounds like we have a contender for worst album of the year.


  3. Commented by: Kevin E.

    I was one of about 10 people that didn’t find overcome all that bad.


  4. Commented by: jerry

    If you somehow were fooled into thinking this band was legitimately metal at any point, you deserve to be let down by this.


  5. Commented by: Bast

    LOL review!


  6. Commented by: Devils Lettuce

    This Darkened Heart was pretty great for the Metalcore time period. I mean this is expected as this band hasn’t produced anything good in years, but they had some good albums.


  7. Commented by: Guilliame

    Who is All That Remains?
    I know Vital Remains.

    All That Remains!?!?!

    Never heard of them.


  8. Commented by: Odovacar

    I liked their first three albums, but yeah this one is pretty damn terrible. Doesn’t help that Phil Labonte has been getting extremely “patriotic” lately; read: right-wing and redneck.


  9. Commented by: Christian Nordenstrom

    This album was fantastic. even though they haven’t been as heavy as they have with This Darkend Heart, Fall of Ideals and Overcome, i still think this album is great. I am a huge fan of fast rifts and good screams, but that doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to only that


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