By Nick Powell
Album: Victim of the New Disease
Band: All That Remains
Record Label: Razor & Tie
Released For: Spotify, Bandcamp, Google Play, Amazon, iTunes, Physical Release (CD, Vinyl)
Reviewing: Physical Release (CD)
Released On: Nov. 9th, 2018
Genre: Metal, Metalcore
Hailing from Springfield, Massachusetts, All That Remains formed in 1998, and released their first album “Behind Silence and Solitude,” in 2002. “Victim of the New Disease,” released in early November, following the death of founding member and guitarist, Oli Herbert, who died at the age of 44 in earlier in October.
Musically, it’s difficult to label All That Remains, primarily because they, similar to Five Finger Death Punch, are followers of trends in the metal industry. In the late 2000s, when metalcore began to slip down into hard rock territory, All That Remains followed suit with songs like “What If I Was Nothing.” When that trend slipped off, All That Remains attempted to take some steps back from the edge, crawling back towards metalcore.
Listening to the album, it’s frankly a mixed bag. “Victim of the New Disease” feels like a good step back towards that earlier, dirty-vocals approach to metalcore, focusing and actively moving towards a heavier emphasis on musical styles from the early 2000s.
Still, I did use the word “moving,” and not ‘moved,’ and that, in part, is because their “What If I Was Nothing” style of rhythm; with a heavy leaning towards radio-friendly music that’s chorus heavy with clean vocals, hasn’t totally gone away. Songs like “Everything’s Wrong” on the new album have stylized lyrics, though feel generic compared to recent offerings by other metal bands like Killswitch Engage or As I Lay Dying.
Out of the twelve songs on the album, “Wasteland,” and “Blood I Spill,” stand out from the rest, featuring excellent riffs and vocal performances by the lead singer.
Still, with recent albums like “Incinerate,” from Killswitch Engage, it’s hard to recommend “Victim of the New Disease” wholeheartedly. While it’s nice to see the band returning to their metalcore roots, the album has one too many radio-friendly, clean vocal songs for a metalcore lover to enjoy, and has too many songs with dirty ‘growling’ vocals, for those who prefer their late 2000s offerings. The album just doesn’t compete with other metalcore bands but is a good step in the right direction for All That Remains.
Final Recommendation: Buy it on sale.