Written by Alex Mrkonjic
Nothing I Can Do
If I'm Honest
Far From Home
Trust & Believe
Back To You
The Thunder Rolls
Release Date: April 28, 2017
Label: Razor & Tie Records
Phil Labonte - Vocals Oli Herbert - Guitars Mike Martin - Guitars Aaron Patrick - Bass Jason Costa - Drums
Now I do listen to some older stuff from All That Remains, so I can hear the evolution in their music throughout this record. You can also tell that the music and lyrics are first and foremost. There is something for everyone on this record. The songs are powerful and captivating and made me wanting more while at the same time, some electronic sounds made me scratch my head wondering “It would have been better without that part”.
Let me just get this out of the way. Hardcore fans of the metalcore sounding All That Remains will be disappointed with this album. However, there are songs on this album for those fans. The album starts with the heavy hitting “Safe House”. Any fan of the classic screaming vocals from Labonte will instantly love this song. The same goes for other tracks such as “Open Grave” and “Trust and Believe”. “Safe House” is without a doubt the heaviest song on the album and is a great way to start things off. “Open Grave” is not as fast as “Safe House” but it is just as heavy with hard-hitting riffs and a good bass by newcomer Aaron Patrick, who replaced bassist Jeanne Sagan in September 2015.
The album's biggest strength lies in its diversity. There are heavy songs for those who love the classic sound but there are also songs such as “Madness”, “Louder”, and “River City” which are diverse in their own way that make them great tracks. “River City” is a strange song in its beginning which made me think “Oh god, is there a pop song on this record?”, but it then goes into a trademark that we have come to know from guitarists Oli Herbert and Mike Martin. The lyrics on this song are powerful however, referring to Labonte’s ex-wife who was fighting overseas in an area known as “River City”.
I can appreciate a band willing to take chances, however my only gripe with the album is the electronic samples. You can hear them on songs such as “Madness” “Louder” and “River City”. These are all great songs but the samples throw me off at the beginning of each song. Power ballads are also something that All That Remains have always been good at. “What If I Was Nothing?” from A War You Cannot Win, and “For You” from The Order Of Things are prime examples. This time around, they gave us “If I’m Honest”, “Back To You”, and “Far From Home”. Out of these songs “If I’m Honest” is the most powerful and by far my favourite. Even my fiance liked it and she doesn’t even listen to metal.
Overall, All That Remains have created a very diverse record full of many different songs for every kind of metal fan and blended them together very well. The electronic samples are a minor problem but can be easily overlooked by the powerful lyrics and strong vocals. To me, it didn't top The Order Of Things, however this is a great record in its own right and I will be picking it up for sure when it gets released.