Thursday, 8 November 2012

All That Remains - A War You Cannot Win

A War of Metalcore

I've got another metalcore review for you guys, this time in the form of the American band All That Remains, with their sixth studio effort called 'A War You Cannot Win'. For those of you who aren't familiar with 'metalcore', it is basically a sub-genre of metal. It is a mixture of extreme metal and punk/hardcore. All That Remains are one of the most successful metalcore bands, with their style edging towards the more 'metal' side, as opposed to the punk side. This album is a prime example of how metalcore should be done. But I will elaborate on how it is both successful, and some of the downfalls of 'A War You Cannot Win'.

Firstly, I will start with a criticism, and it is only one word; Generic. The album opens with what is possibly the most repeated metalcore riff ever, or at least sounds like about 90% of existing metalcore riffs. However, that can be a good thing because it makes the songs much more memorable, and I suppose catchy too. The upbeat nature of the album means that it's one of those that will lift your spirits and get your head banging up and down, fairly rapidly. The rhythm section of All That Remains is definitely one of the best components of the band, it is unbelievably solid, the drummer gets a round of applause for the pure stamina he must have when banging out them beats accompanied with the ferocious double bass pedal. Even the simple drum beats provided swagger to the songs. I particularly enjoyed the 'gang vocals', it gave the album an underground vibe and created a sense of built up anger that has been waiting to be unleashed. Both the screaming and clean vocals were surprisingly as good as each other. The clean vocals at times sounded like Corey Taylor (of Slipknot and Stone Sour fame) only with more of a twang. The screams are spine tingling, raw with pure emotion. All That Remains seemed to have a point to prove with this album, and they fulfilled it. The guitar work on this album is particularly outstanding, although simple at times, the harmonising is effective and shows a classy side to metal.

Their single 'Stand Up' is an anthem about ... well ... standing up. It conveys a powerful message, and this song seems to be the most commercial on the record. Therefore this will be the song that gets played at the rock clubs around the world, as well as on all the rock music channels and radio stations.

The main thing that I can say is that if you're a fan of Bullet For My Valentine, you'll love this band and this album. I believe this to be true because I am a huge Bullet fan. All That Remains just seem to be the American equivalent, only with a heavier influence (I hear elements of Pantera and Lamb of God in 'A War You Cannot Win'). For me, Bullet have marginally better songs and sound slightly less generic. Also to add, 'A War You Cannot Win' has one of my favourite album artworks this year, I'm a sucker for any war-related album covers. But anyway, if you enjoy short and sweet, but powerful songs from bands who are breaking through in the 21st Century, then this album is for you. All That Remains shall remain around for a while.

Stand-out tracks on this album: 'A Call To All Non-Believers', 'Asking Too Much' and 'A War You Cannot Win' (Title Track)

Rating: 8 out of 10

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