All That Remains – Behind Silence and Solitude

up_031504_allthatremainsHere’s more melodic Swedish styled death metal from American shores. They’re not bad at all, but as with most of these bands it’s not exactly original. I don’t particularly mind the fact that they’re not offering anything new to the genre because they’re competent songwriters. The writing is a little bit more creative than the standard when it comes to this stuff, especially for American bands. “Follow” breaks out some twisted slow rhythms and fluid leads that bring “Heartwork” to mind. “Clarity” is one of the most well rounded tracks herein, offering consistently powerful riffing, a great acoustic break, tons of lead runs… the works. And “Home to Me”, which, like “Clarity”, is one of the lengthier pieces, offers greater tempo variation and some really unique chord progressions as well as another excellent clean break – complete with a really dissonant clean solo. Nice. I’d really like to hear more of the energy demonstrated here. I really like the lead breaks throughout the record a lot. The solos tend to be ever so slightly faster than everything else, hence the backing rhythms speed up, and that really kicks the songs into overdrive. If the verses and choruses had that slight edge to them I think this would be a stronger record as a whole. The production isn’t too shabby. The drums sound tasteful (i.e. not too rigid or clicky), there’s a decent bass presence, the vocals sound very forceful, and the guitars are loud and up front. I tend to prefer a slightly cleaner guitar tone for this style, but they’re very close. The lead tone is great, and the rhythm sound has a lot of texture to it, there’s just something missing. A bit more definition to the bass guitar might help to round things out. The problems with the guitar tone really aren’t so noticeable until one guitar drops out to let the other handle a brief rhythm segment, etc. I’m not that big on the layout. I actually like the front cover, but strangely the rest of the layout follows an entirely different color scheme. The text is presented in a crisp and legible format, though. So that’s a plus. As far as the lyrical content goes things are back and forth. The message is usually a personal one, it’s just a matter of how things are handled. At times the delivery is a bit predictable, using clichéd metaphors and what have you, but at times there are passages that have a bit more bulk: “Can not a man of modern day, Find truth in what he’s learned, Or all the seventh days a waste, A fool for all the lies I’ve prayed yet I’m strong, I’ll place no blame, Although misled I’ve found the truth…” When it all comes down to it this is a solid record that’s not quite anything to jump at. They’re a band to watch for in the future though, that’s certain. – Andrew Westerhouse


~ by martyworm on January 3, 2009.

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