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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    All that remains: The fall of ideals

    All that remains: The fall of ideals

    Metal is going through an interesting transitional period these days, with many hardcore acts trying to bridge the gap between the metal charts and the mainstream. Audiences are more accepting than ever of harder music and many bands are trying their best to meet them halfway. Lyrics are becoming intelligible, and breakdowns can now be seen interspersed with melodic vocal interludes.

    The danger in this lies in lukewarm attempts that end up rejected by both genres, such as in Atreyu’s newest album, A Death Grip on Yesterday, which tones down their hardcore roots to the point of sounding whiny. Bands like Avenged Sevenfold however, have seen significantly more commercial success with their City of Evil album, by completely crossing over to the pop charts, despite being criticized for alienating their original fan base and risking the dreaded label “”kiddiecore.””

    All That Remains is also a band in transition, and their new album The Fall of Ideals finds itself somewhere between those two extremes. The change can most noticeably be seen in frontman Phil Labonte’s newly discovered vocal range, which he successfully explores in the first half of the album, while leaving the last half more traditional screaming, almost as a bone for older fans.

    The album kicks off with its strongest track, “”This Calling,”” which features an impressively catchy melodic chorus while staying grounded against an ultra-heavy double bass backbeat. The traditional metal solo appears after the breakdown as expected but adds to the rising energy instead of just going through the motions as it does later in the album.

    The next four tracks, “”Not Alone,”” “”It Dwells In Me,”” “”We Stand,”” and “”Whispers (I hear you),”” are all solid songs showcasing All That Remains’ ability to stand out amongst a wide range of similar artists. Using catchy choruses and beautiful vocals, while culminating rip-your-face-off energy into inspiringly hard breakdowns, All That Remains gives an impressive new take on the often-misinterpreted melodicore genre.

    The bands originality only holds out to the second half of the album however, where they try to balance out their lighter songs with a more traditional death metal sound. At this point the machine-gun double-bass becomes a droning headache, distracting listeners from the actual beat. All That Remains just doesn’t have the industrial backing of bands like Fear Factory to be able to pull off such a robotic drum line. Similarly, the last few songs employ a more guttural, Lamb of God style choke scream, that is absent from the first half. Unfortunately, the vocals aren’t mature enough to support this technique and songs like “”The Weak Willed”” end up sounding at best insincere, and at worst satirical.

    “”The Fall of Ideals”” is a passably entertaining hardcore album with a few solid tracks standing out amongst a well played but mostly unmemorable second half. All That Remains demonstrates their potential as a genre-crossing metal act, and needs only to stick to what makes them stand out-their ability to create an accessibly melodic chorus while keeping the energy their hardcore fans have come to expect-in order to make a truly outstanding album.

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