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All That Remains For We Are Many

All That Remains - For We Are Many
01. Now Let The 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
2010 Razor & Tie

Reviewed by: Shawn   //   Published: 11/1/2010

While I have always considered All That Remains to be a step above their mainstream metalcore peers, they have yet to produce a record that makes me feel like they're living up to their potential. They began their career by delivering an excellent slab of melodic death-infused metalcore with their debut record, Behind Silence And Solitude, as well as a notably distinct sophomore effort in This Darkened Heart. However, with 2006's The Fall Of Ideals and especially 2008's Overcome, their pursuit of a unique and identifiable sound began to trump the cohesive song-writing exhibited on their early albums. My hope for their fifth outing, For We Are Many, was that they might find a way to recapture that cohesion without sacrificing their newfound identity.

If nothing else, For We Are Many is at least a first step in that direction. The band has definitely made an effort to iron out some of the harsh-to-clean transition issues that impeded the flow of the previous two albums, as well as to break out of the verse-chorus-breakdown formula that made listening to The Fall Of Ideals somewhat of a chore. In fact, one of the most striking features of the new record is the frequent replacement of breakdown sections with quality metal guitar solos; guitarist Oli Herbert, who has always been a major highlight of the band's music, has really outdone himself here. Hell, there's even a bluesy talk box solo on Won't Go Quietly. Sure, it sounds a bit awkward and doesn't quite fit the song, but at least he's made an effort to add some variation. Not surprisingly though, the bulk of the riffs here are your standard At The Gates imitations, and I'm not about to claim that they sound any more genuine than they have on past efforts.

While Herbert's guitar playing is definitely a huge reason for All That Remains' enduring popularity, the big draw for most listeners is vocalist Phil Labonte. Personally, I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the guy. On the new record, his harsh vocals sound very full and pack a lot of punch, mostly due to expectedly stellar production. Labonte is also using both his high and low harsh tones more frequently, which is greatly appreciated on tracks like groovy ripper "Dead Wrong." Unfortunately, he's using his inconsistent clean vocals more often too, notably in songs like "The Last Time" and lead single "Hold On," which both feature very few harsh vocal passages. Why Labonte continually insists on layering his vocals and singing with a rasp is beyond me, as both give the impression that he's compensating for a lack of raw power. That said, I do enjoy his clean vocals on a couple songs, particularly "Aggressive Opposition" and album closer "The Waiting One." The latter is an enjoyable, slow-paced epic, and Labonte complements it well by keeping the vocal tracks simple and abstaining from aggressive vocal tones. The bottom line is that I wish he would stick to his harsh vocals and reserve his clean vocals for lighter songs – ones that don't require the vocal gusto he just doesn't possess – but you and I both know that will never happen (it'd be commercial suicide for a band like this).

I guess the band has more members than just the two above, but it shouldn't be any surprise that I'm treating them as afterthoughts. Drummer Jason Costa is still delivering a more than adequate performance, but your opinion of the album's drumming will still likely come down to whether or not you think he filled Shannon Lucas' shoes well enough. I'm not entirely convinced that he has, but I have no problem with his performance on For We Are Many. Similarly, the bass performance on the album isn't strong enough to leave me feeling any more than indifferent; the few times the bass is noticeably audible, it doesn't really contribute much to the songs. All that really matters though is that the band's collective performance is pretty tight, which is all that is needed for the album to appeal to their fan base.

Bottom Line: While the title track, which sounds like it could have been a Behind Silence And Solitude b-side, might give you some early hope, it isn't long before All That Remains falls into the same traps that have made their last couple records mediocre. The cohesive song-writing and increasingly metal guitar playing mark this album as an improvement over the last one, but I don't see For We Are Many converting skeptics into fans any time soon. Though, judging by how closely the new record resembles its predecessor, I think the All That Remains guys (and gal) are perfectly content with their current fan base anyway.

Morningrise_   posted 11/19/2010 10:58:02 AM
I don't really think anything after This Darkened Heart was good. They lost the darkness to their music, now they are all major-ridden metalcore. Bring back the harmonic minor dammit
Vince Offer_   posted 11/17/2010 1:37:10 AM
This shit is almost as bad as some of the shit you'll have to clean with up with the ShamWow. It's like a shammy, it's like a towel, it's like a sponge. An ordinary towel doesn't work wet, the ShamWow works wet or dry. It's for the house, the boat, the car, the RV. ShamWow holds 20 times it weight in liquid! Why do you want to work twice as hard? It doesn't doesn't drip! It doesn't make a mess! Wring it out and wash it in the washing machine. Made in Germany, you know the Germans always make goo
THEREALPHILLABONTE_   posted 11/8/2010 6:56:15 PM
I think two of the supercool individuals above me fell for the paste stchick again, i cant even tell anymore.
anti-labonte_   posted 11/4/2010 2:38:50 PM
you heard the man. get the f*ck out!
Michael Corleone_   posted 11/4/2010 10:00:14 AM
LOL @ first post again. Attention Phil Labonte - STOP SINGING!!

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