1. Fuck Love
2. Everything’s Wrong
3. Blood I Spill
5. Alone In The Darkness
6. Misery In Me
8. Just Tell Me Something (feat. Danny Worsnop)
9. I Meant What I Said
10. Victim Of The New Disease
The visceral opener, 'Fuck Love', is a statement of intent. This is not an album you play to your grandparents (unless they are seriously hardcore). This is a song that, when you play it loud, makes you feel like you’re being pummelled by someone who has got serious issues.
If there was any suggestion that All That Remains aren’t Metal enough, they are clearly going all out to answer that with an emphatic slab of Metal. Personally, I found the vocals a bit unintelligible but the feel of them was clear.
'Everything’s Wrong' starts with a nice gentle piano riff, you think something might have changed. The song then hits a rockier feel but is more melodic and the vocals are harder hitting because they are more understandable. I’ll be honest, the opening song didn’t work for me, so I was surprised by 'Everything’s Wrong'. Its quality Rock, with a pounding guitar riff and excellent vocal.
'Blood I Spill' mixes both styles, it works to an extent, however and it’s a personal view obviously, I enjoyed it much more when the vocals weren’t trying to hard to be Hardcore Metal. There is a quality Rock band here who are trying too hard to be Hardcore.
By the fourth track 'Wasteland', I began to suspect this is not an album for me. I can understand why this band have a dedicated following and have been so successful, but I just began to feel that I wanted less of the harsh, rough, almost shouted, vocals. I was really enjoying the music and the playing, I just feel they have sold themselves a little bit short with the approach to the vocals.
'Alone In The Darkness' took the aggressive approach down a notch, personally I really enjoyed it, the melodies, the playing, the vocals, are all top notch. It and the second song are already contenders for my playlists.
'Misery In Me' started with a great riff, I had high hopes for it. I was excepting something more downbeat with the title. It was the first of the harsher vocals that I thought worked and the first time the merging of the two styles really worked for me. Making me consider whether I’d been too harsh with my feelings towards the earlier songs. I tried again and realised I hadn’t. I did enjoy this though, its quality hard, driven, Rock.
'Broken' started to convert me from a reviewer to potentially a fan. I can’t explain why, maybe by then they’d battered me into submission…... I think I began to get this band and what they are trying to so although I think my concern remains that I’m not 100% sure the band knows who they want to be, do they want to change and grow or stay true to their origins?
'Just Tell Me Something' is excellent, another one for the playlist. Passion, power, great vocals and a soaring sound.
'I Meant What I Said' continues this rich vein of form, by this point I’d realised this is a quality band who have had a few missteps with this album but overall produced an album that deserves to be listened to and played loud.
Final track, 'Victim Of The New Disease' is the song I struggled with the most, I couldn’t decide if it’s a potential anthem or one of the missteps on the album, I know that sounds strange but at points I was loving it and could see it being sung back to the band by a packed gig, at other points in it I just didn’t get it. All in the one song.
I can sum this album up as being 75% excellent, 25% I just don’t get it. It may be others get the whole thing, for me, in this age of picking and choosing our music, I choose quite a lot of this album but will not be listening to some tracks again.
This could have been a 5 out of 5 album, I’m afraid it doesn’t quite make it for me, its 4 out of 5. The songs I liked are excellent, well worth listening to again, those I didn’t pulled it down as a whole piece of work for me.
All That Remains are a band I will confess I hadn’t listened to before this album, I will now listen to their back catalogue to see which direction they are headed in and find out whether there have other hidden gems. I think they have something special in there, I really hope more of it appears as they progress.
Website - www.allthatremainsonline.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/allthatremains/
Review - Iain McClay