Review Summary: Damage...it’s been done once again, just with less cost.
It’s often that metal bands have their ups and downs. All That Remains has already seen its good days with the Fall of Ideals and took to the fall. However, they had room for some improvement, even if it was a little. In fact, with their latest effort, A War You Cannot Win, they didn’t completely lose everything. While they made many mistakes, they may have made a few bright spots in the process.
After receiving criticism for the past two albums, ATR had to pull back some old principles from The Fall of Ideals. And it isn’t that difficult to see. The first returning concept is keeping some sense of balance between the clean vocals and the dirty screams. Phillip Labonte has matured in the process of a few albums, whether it’s a beneficial factor or not. It may not be noticeable, but he shows just a tad more emotion in this album and yet still keeps the aggression necessary for a metal album. However, he still has some work to do before he sounds like anyone like Jake Luhrs of August Burns Red, or perhaps even Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth. Another sign of Fall of Ideals is Just Moments In Time, which sounds sort of similar to This Calling.
However, A War You Cannot Win is mostly composed of very flashy errors, one being the song, Intro. It sounds good, but why would one put it as track six? It just doesn’t make sense and is guaranteed to confuse and frustrate the listener. Another pretty hefty mistake is A War You Cannot Win just doesn’t sound quite like something by All That Remains. It spends its time sounding like other popular metalcore bands similar to them. Some of the new songs sound something like Five Finger Death Punch, which is not really clever, or funny for that matter. Instead of trying to use a unique style, you get something out another metal band that’s already been used. In other words, A War You Cannot Win is recycled music. The worst part: the album practices and exercises a bit of pop and other sorts of cliché. Very stupid decision made by a metal band.
All That Remains made a pretty big fall at Overcome and For We Are Many, but took the time to partially get up. It’s the damage that’s done that still is carrying onto A War You Cannot Win without fail. And in the end, it really doesn’t match up to the strong standards of Fall of Ideals. So, A War You Cannot Win is not much of a special album. Regardless, it’s not horrible, either. So, would it be worth a listen? If you’re an ATR fan, go ahead. But otherwise, it’s not that important to the regular metal music lover. There is better metalcore music to go by, like Constellations by August Burns Red or Fall of Ideals by ATR. To conclude, it’s not really worth buying.