All That Remains
Victim of the New Disease


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mason Pearmain USER (58 Reviews)
November 9th, 2018 | 108 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Bringing home the bacon: All That Remains rebounds!

All That Remains have made a rebound. Gone is the shaky track record that spanned over a half-decade, beginning with 2012’s A War You Cannot Win, as they have created their most proficient record since 2010’s For We Are Many. The near-complete return to the sound that defined The Fall of Ideals and This Darkened Heart is a welcome departure from the style of largely-underwhelming Madness, which was brought down mostly by its sterile production, abuse of “electronic enhancements,” and frivolous flirtations with neo-country music at its worst. Whatever your opinion on the band’s misfires over the past half-decade is, you can be rest assured that Victim of the New Disease is easily their best release in years. While most of the content here isn’t new territory for the band, the music feels far more fresh when compared to the dime-a-dozen djent wannabes in the modern metal scene.

The guitarwork from late lead guitarist Oli Herbert is some of the most skilled in his career, which was tragically cut short a few weeks ago. The solo in “Alone In the Darkness” is one instance in which his ingenious leads shone; its subtle approach gives off a sense of brevity, yet it defies expectations by lasting a while longer. Herbert had a knack for emotional melodies and loved the atmosphere that clean guitar passages can create, as presented in the ambience between “Wasteland” and “Alone In the Darkness,” as well as the first 40 seconds of “Everything’s Wrong.” The level of creativity on display rivals that of The Fall of Ideals, despite not being as steadily energetic. Its entire vibe bleeds darkness; among other notable tracks, the aura created in “I Meant What I Said” proves it, with its song structure going from one style to another seamlessly. The back-to-basics strategy All That Remains have implemented works to its benefit; this is easily the most inspired Labonte and co. has sounded in a very long time.

Phil Labonte’s vocals have never been technically amazing; while his screams have matured and become more robust with age, his clean vocals have often been a key point of critique, which was proven on Madness; autotune and other effects obviously marred his performance. The production here has been stripped back to a level similar to For We Are Many, sounding more organic than in recent memory; this style supplements his moodier takes on “Everything’s Wrong” and the chorus of “Broken” and allows his ruthless screams to dominate tracks like “Blood I Spill”, “Misery In Me”, and the title track. Ballad “Just Tell Me Something” features Asking Alexandria vocalist Danny Worsnop and creates almost a duet-like dynamic between Worsnop and Labonte. As amazing as the heavier tracks are, their duet with Worsnop is easily a standout moment; it shows a stark similarity to “What If I Was Nothing” from 2012’s A War You Cannot Win and manages to best it in nearly every way.

If you couldn’t tell from the song titles, the lyrics primarily center around the emotional turmoil after a difficult breakup; in particular, singer Phil Labonte’s 2017 divorce. As a result, the album is filled to the brim with a deep sense of catharsis; after all, the album title itself seems to make the implication that unrequited love is the “new disease.” As has been proven in the past, and if that isn’t totally obvious already, All That Remains excels when they apply their maximum potential. Ofttimes, that excellence will reveal itself when tension is high. Juvenile as a hook like “Fuck love / It only goes away / There's no god damn good in this goodbye you made me say / Don’t love ever again” may be, its sincerity discerns it from other recent attempts. “Fuck Love” is All That Remains at their most dramatic; what follows is more restrained. “Everything’s Wrong,” “Just Tell Me Something,” and “Alone In the Darkness” step away from the complete vitriol expressed on the album's opener; other ragers like “Wasteland”, “Blood I Spill”, and “Misery In Me” still retain a more rational ethos. Labonte has never been much of a poet though, so be sure to expect some cheese with that brutally honest whine.

There still remains room for growth on a purely sonic level; however, comparing this to Madness is like contrasting a frozen, three-week-old tenderloin to a freshly-cooked filet. The music behind cleanly-sung “Everything’s Wrong” and the chorus of “Wasteland” could have been remixed with a more powerful tone; perhaps the producers could have taken notes from the Adam D playbook. On their predecessor, drummer Jason Costa’s lines sounded painfully artificial, especially on lead single “Safe House”; here, the drum mix is at a slight imbalance despite sounding more authentic, making it difficult to accurately tab out drums for numbers like “Fuck Love”. Alas, the production is secondary, as the music itself is incredible. As a fan who started with A War You Cannot Win, fell off the train when The Order of Things released, and was further repelled by Madness, sometimes I wonder if my relative inexperience with the band has made me not trustworthy enough to say anything. However, All That Remains has officially won me back, dropping what will easily be considered one of the strongest releases of their career. Oli would be proud.

Rest In Peace, Oli Herbert. 1974-2018

Highlights: “Everything’s Wrong”, “Wasteland”, “Alone In the Darkness”, “Just Tell Me Something”, “I Meant What I Said”.



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user ratings (125)
Chart.
3
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other reviews of this album
Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (2.5)
[Not] Everything’s Wrong....



Comments:Add a Comment 
AgentDeathbat
November 8th 2018


9596 Comments


Album leaked earlier today. Had some notes down before I wrote this that applied to the three singles. I gave the album a few listens and this is what came of it.

Digging: Attalus - Into the Sea

RadioNew03
November 9th 2018


14 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Wow, they completely redeemed themselves with this record. RIP !!! , better on every level

AgentDeathbat
November 9th 2018


9596 Comments


Fucking right?? I'm actually rounding down by only giving this a 4, if I count up all my track ratings the album comes out as a 4.2.

Source
November 9th 2018


9390 Comments


Can one album really redeem this band after they've released so much garbage?

RadioNew03
November 9th 2018


14 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You have a point, maybe I’m just upset about Oli, the last few albums were putrid lol, this record is a solid 4 however

AgentDeathbat
November 9th 2018


9596 Comments


@Source: Only way to find out is to listen. I do admit I prefer the lighter songs (I mean, I gave the ballad with Worsnop a 10/10 and it's basically a better version of What If I Was Nothing so), but they're much more well-written versions than anything from their last three albums. There's a lot of heavy here as well, and that shit bangs.

AgentDeathbat
November 9th 2018


9596 Comments


Also, in all fairness, I don't mind the newer material. Even Madness would've been a 2.5/5 if not for Back to You and The Thunder Rolls.

Source
November 9th 2018


9390 Comments


Hmm I'll probably skip this. Even the fall of ideals is just serviceable metalcore imo. But a lot of people like that album, so that's cool for those fans if this is a return to form

AgentDeathbat
November 9th 2018


9596 Comments


@Source: I don't blame you. It also pleases my inner "whiny emo 15-year-old" so I love it.
What do you think of the review, though?

Source
November 9th 2018


9390 Comments


It's good, nice job. There were a couple grammatical errors I found but nothing major.

An example:

"while his screams have matured and became "

*become





AgentDeathbat
November 9th 2018


9596 Comments


@Source: That's a quick fix, thanks for pointing it out. I'm trying to stay as impersonal and professional as possible with these reviews, I think that'll bring better results in the long run.

Source
November 9th 2018


9390 Comments


Yeah i tend to like reading impersonal reviews more. It's just kinda awkward when reviews are like "I, I, I" a lot. At least to me

AgentDeathbat
November 9th 2018


9596 Comments


Same. I made the mistake of going really personal with my I Am Human review in April.
In my defense though...I was pasting my YouTube script from there to Sput with a few changes.

Spec
November 9th 2018


35651 Comments


Y’all see the posts about his wife killing him?

BigPleb
November 9th 2018


57530 Comments


Say what now?

Digging: Faith No More - King for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime

Spec
November 9th 2018


35651 Comments


Google “justice for oli Herbert” and check out the Facebook page.

Spec
November 9th 2018


35651 Comments


Hoping this is just a stupid conspiracy theory.

BigPleb
November 9th 2018


57530 Comments


Same.

Humanity sucks.

AgentDeathbat
November 9th 2018


9596 Comments


The fuck? People are really peddling conspiracy theory shit right now?

I get it if there's something genuinely sketchy for example with Kurt Cobain, watch Soaked In Bleach it will say everything. but this is dumb.

osmark86
November 9th 2018


8579 Comments


Didn't know their guitarist had died. 44 is damn young.



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