All That Remains
A War You Cannot Win
Razor & Tie
11/29/2012 - Review by: Eric Compton
Yesterday, I was just talking about how this metalcore scene really hasn't dwindled at all. Just this week alone I've reviewed new offerings from As I Lay Dying and The Sorrow and my list keeps growing every month with new titles to spin. One of the founders of this New Wave of American Heavy Metal, All That Remains, checks in this year with record number six. Just doing the quick math here-- that gets us six from these guys, seven albums from Shadows Fall and then five albums from Killswitch Engage. That little New England scene sure has grown up in the past 15 years, now incorporating bands from places like Austria, Brazil, Japan, Germany, Sweden and even Greece in the metalcore movement. Of course the whole thing sort of dates back to Sweden in the early 90s but that is another tale for another day.
"A War You Cannot Win" is another rock solid entry in what has become a fruitful back catalogue from the band. The group have chosen Adam Dutkiewicz (Killswitch Engage) to produce again, every album thus far other than "Overcome" has been given the control room under Adam's watchful eyes. His production skills just give us the most sterile and polished sound to come out of this metalcore sound, maybe this sub-genre's Andy Sneap for those in the know.
All That Remains show us plenty of signature sound on the effective opener "Down Through The Ages", staccato riffs galore but still laced with that twin guitar finesse that really motivates bands like this to engage in melody. Similar songs are abundant in "Just Moments In Time" and "A Call To All Non-Believers", both encompassing all the aggressive sounds that have made this band the hard hitting force they are. Still the band are really going away from the harsher tones to make room for more and more clean vocals.
The band's choice for leadoff single and lyric video is "Stand Up", a track that is more like Breaking Benjamin and Three Days Grace than anything ‘core sounding. The band continue the 100% clean vocals on "What If I Was Nothing" (poetically fresh and calming) and the power metal styling of "Not Fading". The group are a frenzied animal on faster twin guitar romps like "Asking Too Much" (similar to what Bullet For My Valentine is doing these days) and the title track, both showcasing tons of clean vocals over pounding double bass and the occasional break down (again less and less hardcore).
The end result shows us an All That Remains that is fairly removed from albums like "Fall Of Ideals" and "Overcome". The band are increasing the melodic injections and doing some really diverse functions with the aggressive nature of the music. I'm all over it right now and loving this fresh face. Let's hope the band keeps pushing for diversity and Adam continues doing what he does best; getting the very best sound out of the cream of the crop.
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