Review Summary: All That Remains, A War You Cannot Win can be compared to a prostate exam. They may have good intentions, but unfortunately it’s uncomfortable and you’ll feel better once it’s over.
Apart from the occasional anthem like passages hinting at quality musicianship, All That Remains have roughly missed the signs of success they received with their 2010 release For We Are Many
and regressed into a boring display of Overcome
part two. For All That Remains newest release there is an obvious lack of creative thought put into lyrical construction, phrasing and overall execution. A War You Cannot Win
teases the aspect of teen angst, conflict, isolation and comes off to the listener as an immature pop influenced record dripping in a sense of commercial viability as if only to make a quick sale. A War You Cannot Win
is far from what All That Remains is capable off and doesn’t even hint at a return to The Fall Of Ideals
as many avid fans were hoping for, a better received album with a back to basics sound.
Overall, A War You Cannot Win
plays too safe and was made too radio friendly. Tracks do not have the vocal contrast of that found in For We Are Many
where the mid-range screams were balanced with melodic singing and deep ringing growls. The guitar riffs, and drum work are also bland in comparison, the entire of the band seem to be building off the premise that releasing an album for the sake of it is enough. What makes this release all the more painfully average is that All That Remains could have done all the more better if they tried or showed a little emotion rather than feeding off cliché lyrical content and simple riff structures. There is also a question as to why there is a track titled “Intro” halfway through the album, not only does this make no sense the track would almost be completely redundant as an album introduction.
A War You Cannot Win
is in so many ways like a prostate exam; The listener may come back in a few years just to check everything is okay, however on a second/third or fourth listen it’s still going to be uncomfortable, hoping that your doctor whips out a bottle of lubrication to make the process a little easier and yet you’re still going to feel better once it’s over. The only difference is A War You Cannot Win
may just be a suspect lump that needs to be removed. The record in itself isn’t overly bad by itself but when compared to the band’s so called high points listeners will be left wondering if All That Remains can bounce back and find some quality material (again).