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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

All That Remains

The Fall of Ideals

Review by Travis Jensen

Do you like Killswitch Engaged? So do I. Then you'll really dig All That Remains. These guys are currently on the bill for Ozzfest, 2006. This CD is very powerful and heavy, yet also very tight and melodic. Picture if you will, Cannibal Corpse and Dream Theatre having a kid…this is what you would get. However you want to analyze them is up to you, just let me say that I am really looking forward to seeing them this summer.

I know that with the barrage of new music we are inundated with these days, it is hard to pick out something that you think you may like as you are standing at your local music store with thousands of choices staring you in the face. Do you make your judgment by the name of the band, or the picture of the group on the front? When you're spending the high-dollar prices on albums these days, it can be a little risky, as once the cellophane is removed, there are no returns. Your CD music club is of little help in these situations, because the small write-up was probably put together by someone who hasn't listened to one note of the music. This is where you have someone like yours truly with 20 years of speed metal rotting my brain behind me to steer you in the right direction. Trust me on this one, when I say that these guys are definitely worth the 45 minutes or so it will take to get through the band's 11 tracks.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
This Calling
This is your first punch in the face from these guys, so I hope you have a mouthpiece in. I always believed that just like anything else, you will always stick with your first impression of something. Music is the same way. Most of the time, you will form your likes or dislikes about a band within the first five seconds. I particularly like the screeching vocals in the beginning. This is the track where I knew that I wanted to listen to the rest of the CD, and at a higher volume level as well.
Not Alone
This is where I wished that I had a sub-woofer in my car stereo, because the double-bass drums rattled the fillings loose in my teeth. The dissonant guitar intro, continuing bridge and ending give this song a nice break from the first one. This way, the first several cuts don't seem like one long song.
It Dwells In Me
The vocals on this one kind of remind me of Phil Anselmo's approach to "F**king Hostile" from the Vulgar Display of Power album. As far as that goes, the guitar solo reminds me of Dimebag's guitar riffs. It's not necessarily the sound, but the way he ripped through the notes.
We Stand
This has more of a melodic chorus, which might make it one of the more memorable songs. The guitars are really tight on it.
Whispers (I Hear You)
This one should be on a soundtrack for a horror movie. It would work in the part of the flick where the person running from the killer makes a gallant effort and almost makes it…only to catch an axe in the forehead steps away from safety.
The Weak Willed
My favorite song on the disk, it may be the wicked guitar intro, or maybe the blistering vocals that earns it that title. Here is where I get the idea of a possible Cannibal Corpse influence. I also like the ending guitars, as it's kind of like a metal requiem.
Six
Just a little more than some of the others, this is your mosh-pit song, until the middle of it where the change comes. From that point there is kind of a monumental feel to the second half of the song. What I mean is that there is a smooth tension to the song that builds to gradual head.
Becomes A Catalyst
Let the fire burn! Again another vocal masterpiece, I really appreciate the mix of the harsh verses and melodic chorus. The ending also has somewhat of a demonic conclusion, which gives the song a somber closing.
The Air That I Breathe
The guitar intro on this one sets a nice "speedy" pace for the rest of the cut. However, at this point, the double-bass on the drums is a little redundant. It's not to the point where I don't like the song, but it is starting to sound like previous tracks.
Empty Inside
I think this one could be much better if there was more of a prominent influence of bass guitar to compliment the drums. There is, however, a ripping guitar solo in this one that seems more memorable than some of the others.
Indictment
They say that people are most likely to remember the first and last of something from a list of any given topic. I can see why this one is last, because it is the pinnacle of this album, in my opinion. The background vocals bring me back to my point of the Cannibal Corpse influence. There is also a vibe that I'm getting that brings me back to my early interests in speed metal, although I cannot put my finger on anyone in particular. Exodus, Kreator, Flotsam and Jetsam, may be what I'm hearing.
 
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