Released: 2008, Prosthetic Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
When All That Remains released 2006’s THE FALL OF IDEALS, the Massachusetts band went from just another metalcore band to a really good one. Blending melody with aggression and injecting some slick guitar runs, songs like “This Calling” and “Not Alone” catapulted All That Remains way up the food chain and crafted their own identity rather than being affectionately known as “that band with the guy who used to sing in Shadows Fall.” Wisely building on the blueprint laid out on THE FALL OF IDEALS, the band unleashes OVERCOME, a prophetically-titled album given All That Remains’ history of unstable lineups and long road to get where they are today. Philip Labonte’s dynamic vocals continue to battle it out with the guitar wizardry of Oli Herbert for the band’s top draw but in tandem with a keen ear for rhythms and melodies, OVERCOME will undoubtedly keep the momentum going for All That Remains.
“Before The Damned” kicks off the record with a lockstep march before Labonte’s rich clean vocal blazes through the chorus. “Two Weeks” and “Forever In Your Hands” are just great all-around metal songs with tempo-building riffs and groovy beats from new drummer Jason Costa (ex-Diecast) wrapping around an incredibly melodic chorus. Hebert has always been a tremendously underrated guitarist but it was on THE FALL OF IDEALS that his prowess was first brought to the forefront and really worked into the songs. Here, Hebert is given plenty of room to show off with technical, melodic solos (“Undone”) and some rich, classical guitar (“Chiron”) that opens up a new edge to All That Remains’ sound. Even when tackling a cover of Nevermore’s “Believe In Nothing,” Herbert is able to capture note-for-note the difficult leads first laid down by Jeff Loomis. “A Song For The Hopeless” is perhaps the most varied song on OVERCOME as it shifts from a pensive intro and melodic, cleanly-sung verses to a crushing pre-chorus featuring Labonte’s guttural roars. It is on “Relinquish,” however, that Labonte really digs deep and unleashes a ferocious growl that sounds not unlike that of Testament’s Chuck Billy at times. As he did on THE FALL OF IDEALS’ “The Weak Willed,” Labonte’s vocals are able to run the gamut of metal styles making him one of the genre’s most talented throats.
When I first saw All That Remains live back in 2004, they were pushing THIS DARKENED HEART, an album that did little to separate the band from its metalcore peers. Since then, Philip Labonte has worked on his vocals and the guitar team of Oli Herbert and Mike Martin have refined their skills into one of the finest tandems in modern metal. While I found a bit more material to grab on to on with the last record than on this one, for fans that first got into All That Remains based on the accessible aggression portrayed on THE FALL OF IDEALS, the new album delivers in spades as OVERCOME finds a band working its strengths into a sound all its own to craft another record of tuneful metal and memorable hooks.
KILLER KUTS: “Before The Damned,” “Two Weeks,” “Forever In Your Hands,” “Chiron,” “A Song For The Hopeless,” “Relinquish”