All That Remains

For We Are Many

01. Now Let Them 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

[Razor and Tie | 10/12/10]

I remember back when I first heard All That Remains’ album The Fall of Ideals. That must have been the first CD I purchased without hearing the whole thing first. That album must be one of the best metalcore albums of all time, and it helped me form a gateway into heavier music. Unfortunately, much like an omen, the glory days of The Fall Of Ideals are gone. I guess that album didn’t make enough money, as the continuing trend of a downward spiral set forth by Overcome (which I actually somewhat enjoyed at the time) twists further downward in For We Are Many.

The most glaringly obvious thing about For We Are Many is the dated sound. While I can still jam to aped Gothenburg-style riffs from time to time when they’re done right, it seems the well has run dry and the songs on For We Are Many come across as if the band played a game of paint-by-numbers. The solos are nice and all, but it seems like they’re are only played because they think the solos HAVE to be there.

On top of that, I get the impression that they’ve taken what made them great and ran in either opposite directions and picked up from not only radio-friendly songs, but you also have a moment where the lowest common denominator of deathcore bleeds through on “Some of the People, All of the Time” where a breakdown slows the song to a crawl and Phil gets dangerously close to bree. Thankfully that doesn’t happen much at all.

As if it wasn’t a surprise, Phil Labonte’s vocal work is making a tad bit heavier use of clean singing this time around. While I was once a fan of his screaming and singing ability, he sounds overproduced and emotionless. It might just be a by-product of growing up, but his lyrics seem to have taken a bit of a step backwards and feel a bit like grade school poetry at times. I’d like to pretend that “Hold On” never happened, as it reminds me of the dialog in Tommy Wiseau’s film The Room.

Not everything is terrible, thankfully. You have the odd song or two that stand out and remind you that the band you used to love is alive and kicking in there somewhere. Songs like “Aggressive Opposition” and “Dead Wrong” will have you nodding your head and saying “Oh thank goodness, they didn’t completely lose their touch.” Here’s to hoping they don’t lose it all. Fans of older All That Remains that were hoping for any sort of return to form are out of luck and will have to look elsewhere. However, those that enjoyed Overcome will find enough here to be satisfied. Despite the album’s mediocrity, it will probably sell a ton of copies. Mission accomplished, I suppose.

All That Remains – For We Are Many gets…

2.5/5

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