All That Remains - Overcome
Record Label: Prosthetic Records/Razor & Tie Records
Release Date: September 16, 2008
I'm relatively new to the metalcore scene. And is it was, this was one of my first ventures into the genre. Maybe a poor way to start out, but I instantly found Philip Labonte's voice to be simply mesmerizing, and Jason Costa's drumming to be awe-inspiring. The mixing of such metal vocals with harmonized singing done with such precision was beyond me. But, with the exception of that last sentence, I may have... overreacted.
Having just found these guys so bad-ass, I checked out their previous work. The Fall of Ideals at first listen didn't intrigue me, but after a while, it just started to grow and grow on me, and ironically enough, this album just started to disappoint and disappoint me. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the solos and Labonte's vocal wonder, but there's something that's just missing at the core of this album. For me, it was the over-production and sometimes overly pop-metal choruses.
"Before the Damned," the first track on the album is classic All That Remains in pure form with Labonte's harsh growl/scream mixed in with Ideals-like melodic singing. It's a great opening track that should give the listener just enough interest to continue with the album. All That Remains, however, throw a curve ball at you with "Two Weeks." No feasible scream (however a layered scream that is barely heard) is included. What is included is a poppy chorus that is, for all intents and purposes, pretty damn lame. The song is saved only by Oli Herbert's gut-wrenching guitar solo.
Tracks like "Undone", "Forever in Your Hands", and "Do Not Obey" display a radio-friendly sound that will get them album sales, definitely. "A Song for the Hopeless" channels pure Pantera with it's Dimebag-influenced acoustic guitar opening followed by a shredding solo (actually, there are three solos present in the song). It's a highlight on the album, but it just channels Dimebag a little too much and can get awful repetitive. Album closer and Nevermore cover "I Believe in Nothing" is the lowest point on the album, featuring no screams whatsoever and a sub-par singing job from Labonte (this is why the album gets an 8.75 on vocals instead of an otherwise deserved 9).
Production is, as aforementioned, a little overdone and instead of a crisp sound, it has a forced crisp sound. Musically, the album is good, but no where near the quality found on their previous attempt. The solos are more structured on this album, but that's the only up it has on The Fall of Ideals. Overall, it's a fairly decent album, however uninspiring it may be. Metal heads will love it, but true All That Remains fans may find themselves disappointed with the release.
I didn't find anything inspiring about this album - it reminded me of Disturbed. If you are Disturbed, that's fine with me; but when you are a band that has made The Fall of Ideals, it is truly disappointing. That said, my review score wouldn't be much lower. Vocals are solid, musicianship is solid, I preferred the production of Adam D on fall of ideals. It was simply the song writing that didn't mesh with me, at all. Good review.