All That Remains
This Darkened Heart


2.5
average

Review

by Shadows USER (89 Reviews)
January 16th, 2005 | 114 replies | 21,698 views


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist


8 of 12 thought this review was well written

Since Phil Labonte's departure from Shadows Fall in the late 90's, he has since gone on to fulfill his own musical ambitions with the band known as All That Remains. This band, while actually similar to Shadows Fall in many ways, proves to be a slightly less heavy and technical version of his past work. Teaming up with his fellow Massachusettsers or whatever the hell you call it, the band has recieved their own success as another band in what is known as the New Wave of American Heavy Metal. They've only been in existence since 1999 and have only released two albums (I can't even find a record of any demos).

The opener, And Death in My Arms, is probably the best. With a nice acoustic intro, we are quickly introduced to Phil's voice, which has definitely made a few changes since his Shadows Fall days. It rolls on pretty well with some cool riffs and the speed of blast beats making it a good track showing all their elements. There's some weird screaming in the background that sounds like someone's dying (:confused:), but then again, they are from New England. There solo seems to be played by both guitars simultaneously and is a not-too-fast unique sound, untill the full solo comes. It's fast, sounds great, and accents the music wonderfully. Too bad it's short. The single The Deepest Gray follows. Many of you have probably heard it. It begins instantly and introduces us to the clean singing style of ATR. It's not bad - works with this track at least. The verses are choppy sounding and tugh to stand but the chorus section gets smooth and a much needed breath of fresh air. The guitar solo is one of the weirdest I've ever heard. It sounds a little forced, but goes on and isn't too bad. It's just really odd sounding in the beginning.

The band gets more speed oriented with Vicious Betrayal. If it's not moving quick it's a really flowing sound that has more stand-outish guitar riffs (sounds good). Phil tries to do a higher pitch screaming half way through (as well as other parts) which mixes things up a bit. Nice guitar solo, much better than the last track. Afterward some more tortured screaming is heard in the background. I Die in Degrees is the heaviest so far with the guitars sticking to mostly the heavy riffs...untill... It breaks into a slower section with some melodic tapping (maybe just hammering - too lazy to really find out) action. Nice thing to add to a track like this. The solos are quite emotional. The song contradicts itself ultimately, starting off heaver and shifting to more melodic. But anyhoo, Focus Shall Not Fail is next, the token slow song. The reasonably paced guitars sound dark. There some heavy riffs throughout the lengthy intro (the song by the way is almost six and a half minutes). It's the longest song and gets pretty brutal when Phil comes in sounding like he's going to give himself an ulcer. Some more clean singing is featured, which sounds much better than the singing in the Deepest Gray. Don't skip this song, it's a great listen if you're into the genre. Excellently written all around.

Proceeding we come to Regret Not. Every song needs an instrumental filler. For those who haven't picked it up, this is that song dumbass Once again there's an acoustic intro. It's not bad. I've heard better, and this really isn't much to write home about. Seems a little repetitive and never really gets going. Oce they find their way to the electricity, the song unfolds into another highlight. The melodic riffs are some of the better ones I've heard this side of the album. The solo in the intro doesn't help a whole lot, but it's worth hearing anyway. Passion is pretty good right from the get go, producing riffs in a similar structure to Regret Not. It stays consistently good with Phil and whoever the backing vocalist doing his clean thing together. Good stuff. The solo runs pretty steady. Good, but not the best on the album. For Salvation sounds dark and starts immediately with Phil and more speed. The entire song is based around this sound. It works pretty well. The clean singing stands out blatantly. Whoever it is sin't bad. The quick break is cut short by the familir sound established in the beginning. A similar structure is followed throughout the entire track.

Tattered on My Sleeve follows...are they trying to sound like a Death Metal band? Because the intro suggests that. Phil shoots the idea down - his screaming brings the song to a more relaxed and recessed sound. It rolls on steadily with the occasional guitar matching his vocals in an interesting way. It breaks into an acoustic section half way through. That throws everything off. It was completely uncalled for and confuses me in the middle of an otherwise good song. Another good guitar solo is featured, yet quite short. The track ends quite emotionally with singing and some melodic instrumental work. The record becomes history after the title track This Darkened Heart. It's prett slow starting off and is based around the vocals. The music is similar to And Death in My Arms but does a good job of not sounding recycled or repetitive. The track is short and is slow for the most part aside from the obvious palm muted guitars and double bass sections. Not a bad track and for some reason a fitting close for the band's second release.

Aside from Shadows Fall, this band has proven themselves decent within the NWOAHM. They also sustain a sound that is heavy yet melodic with enough technicality to keep it from sounding bland. Phil's vocals are an acquired taste. They took me some time to get used to, but in time I'm sure you'll come around. This album has several not-too-special songs, but there are also some insanely good songs to bump it up a notch. It will be nice to see what becomes of these guys as time goes on and their style progresses.

Recommended tracks:
And Death in My Arms
I Die in Degrees
Focus Shall Not Fail



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user ratings (863)
Chart.
3.5
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other reviews of this album
Locrian (4)
This Darkened Heart is a mixture of the best qualities of the albums that came before and after it, ...

teamsleep698 (4)
This Darkened Heart” is heavy enough to please any metal head, and instrumentally good enough to p...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Shadows
Moderator
November 17th 2004



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

bump

Come on people, help me out.

Happymeal
November 17th 2004



330 Comments


I've heard a couple of songs. Far from groundbreaking, but still pretty good for a 2nd(or 3rd?) generation modern metal band. Nice review

BuddyBigsby
November 17th 2004



531 Comments


Viva la All That Remains!!!

I actually love every single track on this CD, but I think the first two tracks and the last three tracks are my favorites.

And great detailed, insightful review. I'm glad you like 'em.

Shadows
Moderator
November 17th 2004



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Thanks. They're worth holding onto. It's a really good album and I'm excited to see what's coming next.

LordDargon
November 18th 2004



165 Comments


They sound like LoG/Shadows Fall metalcore stuff, hence I won't be checking them out.

However you do a good job on the reviews. Keep it up. Why don't you review Torture Squad - Pandemonium?

Shadows
Moderator
November 18th 2004



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

You think I should do Torture Squad? I was seriously considering it, but wasn't quite sure, even though Pandemonium is a great album. Thanks to you it will be up later today.

breakinginflames
February 12th 2005



9 Comments


good review

this cd keeps finding its way back into my cd player

james_delve
February 16th 2005



10 Comments


nice review dude

this is an awesome metal-core album, that everyone should own.

fantastic live band too...

XxDEATHBLOOMSxX
June 20th 2005



58 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is pretty good, but still cant touch Shadows Fall

Brian Fair kicks Phils ASS

XxDEATHBLOOMSxX
June 20th 2005



58 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good review by the way, as is all of yours

Shadows
Moderator
June 21st 2005



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Thanks, and I agree. These guys are pretty good but nowhere near Shadows Fall good. Brian Fair is unbelievably better than Phil Labonte in SF.

This album doesn't seem as good as it used to though. I would give it more like a 3 or 3.5 now. Catchy songs, but it seems like they're holding back musically. I'm sure they could put out better guitar work then what they've done.This Message Edited On 06.20.05

XxDEATHBLOOMSxX
June 22nd 2005



58 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ok, ive listened to it alittle more and i like Phils voice a bit more but he still cant touch Mr Fair


This Darkened Heart is an awesome song

id probably give the album a 4 now

Arrakakaka
July 7th 2005



685 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Generic. But it has moments.This Message Edited On 09.21.05

Storm In A Teacup
September 4th 2005



12687 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I've only heard the title track, but I think it's really good. I'll probably pick this cd up, it's pretty cheap after all.

Awesome Review keep up the good work!

Toaster
September 21st 2005



343 Comments


ok, ive listened to it alittle more and i like Phils voice a bit more but he still cant touch Mr Fair


I really think Phil's voice kills Brian Fair's. If you've heard Shadows Fall live, you would probably agree. Brian Fair just cannot scream. Even on their albums, he has to double track his voice, and it still sounds weak. Phil Labonte, on the other hand, screams like a demon live. He may be short, and his hair sure isn't as cool as Fair's but he is a superior vocalist.


Shadows
Moderator
September 21st 2005



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I've seen Shadows Fall live twice, and Brian's voice is easily is strong as it is on the records. He doesn't layer his either. They definitely have different vocal styles, but I prefer Brian's. He can sing much better even if his scream is very high-pitch. Phil's just sounds monotonous and raspy to me.

Toaster
September 22nd 2005



343 Comments


Do you really think he can sing better? He attempts to sing more, I grant you, but he falls flat on many songs, especially on The War Within. Enlightened By the Cold and What Drives the Weak are undeniably off-key at parts. This album has no off-key singing that I can think of, though.

He definitely layers, too.

Shadows
Moderator
September 22nd 2005



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I don't think he's a bad singer. He does sing much more than Phil does, but a lot of SF's clean singing is done by Matt, the guitarist, who desperately needs vocal lessons (but would be pretty good once he was trained up a bit). The biggest thing is that I have no problem at all with Brian's scream, which most people do, but I hate Phil's voice. Conflicting interests I guess.

He definitely doesn't layer.

Confessed2005
December 23rd 2005



3314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Both Shadows Fall and All That Remains are very good bands and on the note of the vocalists, Brian Fair has a superb voice and Phils is definitely not as good. Phil has a superb scream though. Fair is more consistent and I just prefer Shadows Fall because Jon Donais is an absolutely amazing guitarist. Jason Bittner is a class drummer as well!

Bonzo17
December 27th 2005



92 Comments


better than average



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