Thursday, August 12, 2010

All That Remains - The Fall of Ideals

 New genre... Medio-core

At first, I found All that Remains to be a breath of fresh air in the metalcore scene. They seemed to be one of the few with a considerable influence of some form of metal, albeit the much frowned upon Gothenburg scene. The guitars were fast, the songs were catchy, the voice was good... they were a good band that I enjoyed quite a bit. After their newest album, The Fall of Ideals, had a couple spins under it's belt, I came to the conclusion that they are in fact an exceedingly average band, with nothing much to set them apart anymore and a crippling lack of variety in the record.

The difference in time between the longest and shortest song is less than one minute, which would suggest a similarity in the songs. That assumption happens to be right on the money. Every track has the exact same intro - verse - chorus - verse - chorus - break/solo - re-verse - chorus 2X - outro pattern that never ever deviates, and that's frankly annoying. Most of the songs are forgettable, which is obviously a huge negative. What the hell is the point of listening to an album that you won't remember in an hour? It's like crapping in a toaster... utterly pointless.

The members themselves are all competent, and Labonte has a versatile voice, it's just that it is unfortunately used poorly. It's always his harsh screams layered over each other three or four times in the verses and clean vocals in the chorus (except in each obligatory final chorus where he will inevitably mix harsh screams in the spaces without singing). Oli Herbert is a decent guitarist, and Bartlett is a solid drummer, but nobody ever stands out in this formulaic pile of sugar scented shit.

The only song that breaks this formula is The Weak Willed, which is absolutely god awful. It's like midpaced groove/deathcore bullshit, avoid what anybody says about this being the best song, their ears are obviously broken. The acoustic passage at the end does not save it from sucking a big fat one either. Absolutely terrible song. Everything else though, is textbook mediocrity. The Air that I Breathe deserves special mention for actually having an emphasis on melody and doesn't drone on boringly throughout the duration.

I can liken the approach to being like blowing up something with a missile. But the thing is, once you blow up one section, you have to blow up another one considering there's nothing left to obliterate after the first missile. All that Remains didn't get this memo, and they continually bomb the exact same clearing in the forest eleven times in a row, which is not only ineffective, but incredibly dull. I want to like this band, as they are definitely above average for most metalcore, but that really isn't saying much in a genre where mediocrity is not only accepted, but encouraged. Songs like This Calling, Not Alone, and The Air that I Breathe are catchy enough to satisfy a quick craving for mainstream metal, but anything more will just give you a gnarly stomachache.

RATING - 50%

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