Review Summary: All That Remains may not be re-inventing the Metal Wheel, but this album is definitely worth a listen for fans of there previous work...
The seamless enigma that is All That Remains, fronted by the man of a thousand voices (or at least many producers takes on how many layers is necessary to make him fit in "there" mix) Philip Labonte, has once again made another "Good" album, with not much to be said right off the bat, except it is in fact superior to "Overcome" both from a songwriting perspective and production.
Without trying to compare this album with "Overcome" to much, as prefaced earlier this albums production quality (or lack there of) from a vocal perspective, makes this album much more enjoyable to listen to. "Overcome" saw never ending double and quad tracking, on every moment of Phils vocals. This album blends his usual Low guttural growls, Mid Growls, High Shreiks, and Clean to Super Clean vocal styles much more smoothly. As well on the topic of production finally that unknown diva on bass Jeanne Sagan, is present in the mix, making for a much heavier All That Remains then heard on all of there previous records.
Now onto "For We Are the Many"
Phils demonic shriek heard on the intro to the classic ATR song "Six" is now prevalent throughout the album like never before. This was always a very interesting game changing aspect of his vocal range and it was very nice to see it taking the spotlight in the song "Dead Wrong". Going from a half time groove and Low growling to a blast of double bass and that demonic screaming really makes for a super headbangin' moment on the album and an early favorite off the album for me as well.
The instrumentation, on this album has also taken a very nice step in the right direction. You can sense a band that for the most part has there creative comfort zones, but you also can sense a band more willing to experiment as well. From the interesting (however slightly out of place) Peter Frampton Talkbox solo on "Wont Go Quietly", to the Kirk Hammett quick wah-splosions scattered about, the album has a nice and smooth change of pace from song to song. As well, as eluded to earlier the bass is now fully in the mix and makes for a few standout bass riffs like the one seen in the post-chorus of "Some of the People, All of the Time".
My only real gripe with this album, and most of my issues with all of there previous works as well, is the sense of directionless clean vocals scattered about. Phils clean vocals are so schizophrenic from song to song you may have to pause a few times and ask if you are listening to a compilation album titled "Metalcore Vol. 1". Sometimes the front man is right in the pocket and his clean interludes make for a great change of pace to the metal onslaught heard throughout, and other times you are greeted by an M. Shadows esque throaty clean roar heard on "The Last Time". While versatility is a great thing to have particularly in a singer, the changes sometimes throw you out of the album as a whole, and loses continuity with the general vibe.
In the end this album is definitely a lot of fun to listen to. It has more moments then letdowns and minus a few tracks that feel a tad filler-ish, the flow is quite good. This is definitely a step in the right direction, for a band with a lot of potential in a seamlessly flooded genre. Fans of "Overcome" will love this album, and fans of all of there previous work will really dig the heavier more aggressive style this album presents.
"The Last Time"
"Some of the People, All of the Time"
"From the Outside"