Review Summary: With their debut album, All That Remains prove that they are much more than the metalcore giants they have become.
After having departed Shadows Fall to try and take All That Remains to the next level, many questions started to surround Phil Labonte. The biggest probably coming in the form of "Could ATR surpass or even equal the amount of success of Shadows Fall?". The answer would vary depending on who you asked, but to fully judge for yourself you must look at the beginnings. If you have you just become a fan of ATR and are working backwards through their library, you might be surprised.
The lineup includes:
Phil Labonte - vocals
Oli Hebert - guitar
Chris Bartlett - guitar
Michael Bartlett - drums
Dan Egan - bass
The first track which also happens to be the title track fades into an aural assault of melodic lead riffs and furious drum work. Driven by Phil's screams that seem to follow the riffs very well and include a pretty catchy chorus. The solo featured here is done exceptionally well, nice and short, straight to the point. Next up is from these wounds, which is done in the same vein as the opener if not a bit slower. These first two songs are a good indication of whats to come later and gives the listener a good intro to ATR's sound. One thing people might notice here are the repetitive sections, for some this could get a bit boring. A couple of well placed solos split in two by a nice guitar harmony fills up the rest of the track. These two songs should let you know right away if you will keep on listening or if you will be changing discs.
At this time i'd like to showcase the members of the album starting with of course the guitars. The absolute highlight of the album would have to be the work of Oli and Chris who start the album off riffing their minds out and don't let up. The lead riffs and solos will hook you and leave you wanting more. They're a bit reminiscent of the guitarwork found on The gallery by Dark Tranquillity. There is so much going on that you will need repeated listens to fully absorb them. Even weaker songs like shading have memorable parts, although they're not quite perfect. Some great riffs are used repeatedly in songs( see title track and one belief) that might leave you a little bit bored, but this is usually remedied by a great solo or harmony.
The vocals are up next and this might be the biggest downer of the entire album. Phil's voice does not have the range that he showcases on future releases, so if your a big fan of his clean singing you'd probably be dissapointed. He has a pretty monotonous scream that doesn't change pitch much, to older fans of Shadows Fall this won't be a surprise.
Now to round out the group we have the drums and bass. Behind the kit we have Michael who is a pretty standard drummer and fits the band's sound well. Although the sound of his kit fails to leave an impact, the bass drum has that soft clicky sound going on which doesn't help things. He does add some variety to songs like follow which features some blast beats, but overall they're forgettable. Finally, the bass like most modern bands isn't very audible and you would have to make it a point to even hear it.
As we head back to the album there is one track that rises above the rest, which comes in the form of home to me. This song features crushing riffs, with a catchy chorus, and to top it off an extended breakdown that has a jazzish feel to it. Lots of layering going on in this song which might be their best musically.
Overall this album ends the same way it started, with a very fast paced melodic song. It has the mentality of an old school 80's thrash album with the run in, run out song structure. Thats not to say that this a thrash album, if anything it could be seen as melodic death metal which is rare by american metal standards. New fans of ATR or metal in general might not enjoy this, but to the well seasoned metalhead with an affinity for gothenburg influenced guitarwork, this is a welcome listen.
behind silence and solitude
from these wounds
home to me