Review : ALL THAT REMAINS – "For We Are Many"

All That RemainsFor We Are Many
Release Date: 2010Oct12 (US)
Label: Prosthetic Records
Rating: 3/5

Commercial success on Razor & Tie has been a double-edged sword (razor?) for All That Remains, who have seen increasing sales over the last three albums, but with the price of a restrained attack. Fellow Massachusetts metalcore magnate Adam Dutkiewicz prodeuces albums like this in his sleep, and those familiar with the back catalogue of ATR, Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall, etc. will find little new on For We Are Many.

Need I say anything about the pointless intro/lead-in? Ah, too late. The only reason it’s split from the title track is for easy playing. But it is some of the heaviest music the band has written in recent years, with “Some of the People, All of the Time” the strongest competitor, as it includes deep death grunts out of the slow-churning chug toward the end.

But man, those (numerically) odd tracks just kill me with their poppy, repetitive, clichéd choruses—such as on “The Last Time” or “Won’t Go Quietly”. The real one who won’t go quietly is lead guitarist Oli Herbert, who thankfully takes over in the middle of that track for a decent solo, but the concluding Frampton-esque wah-wah outro felt totally out of place.

He shines better—as does the band on the whole—during “Aggressive Opposition”. On principle, I can appreciate their positive battle cries, but the lyrics lack defining character. When focusing on the sound of the vocals alone, they benefit from layering, but sound as if they are multi-tracking Phil Labonte. Underutilized band members like bassist Jeanne Sagan could be worked in more effectively, rather than increasing reliance on studio effects.

They mostly lose me after the pointed accusations of “Dead Wrong”, although “Keepers of Fellow Man” has the strongest potential, even through a wordy refrain (much better than what they attempted on “Two Weeks” from Overcome). If you are down with this style of music, it ought to satisfy, but recently-signed labelmates like Norma Jean have made bold artistic leaps while staying true to their roots, and never expensing memorability. All That Remains continue to bait their hooks with familiar morsels of metallic goodness, but after a while, we fishies hunger for something different.

FCC OK
Try 2, 4, 6, 8

01. Now Let Them Tremble
02. For We Are Many
03. The Last Time
04. Some of the People, All of the Time
05. Won’t Go Quietly
06. Aggressive Opposition
07. From The Outside
08. Dead Wrong
09. Faithless
10. Hold On
11. Keepers of Fellow Man
12. The Waiting One

~MetalMattLongo

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