Massachusetts metalcore veterans ALL THAT REMAINS have again proved themselves masters at fusing hardcore with melodic metal on their newest album, For We Are Many. With this release they manage to simultaneously hang on to their radio-friendly melodicism and reach back to some of their more hardcore roots.
For production, they also went back to Adam Dutkiewicz (from Killswitch Engage) who had previously produced their albums The Fall of Ideals and This Darkened Heart. For 2008's Overcome they had chosen Jason Suecof for production. How much credit Dutkiewicz deserves for the resurgence of hardcore elements on For We Are Many I cannot say. Whoever's decision it was, I can say this; it works. And it works very well!
...For We Are Many is a modern masterpiece of melodic metalcore at its finest. Vocalist Phil Labonte keeps a finger on the pulse of modern melodic metal with his infectious melodies, but on many tracks he draws on his inner fury to bring menacing screams and growls into the mix. The best songs on their latest release exhibit a perfect balance of the extreme and mainstream vocals within them. If you are asking yourself how this can work, you obviously have not listened to this album.
Beyond the vocal style, which by now has become All That Remains' trademark, there is the equally impressive lead guitar work by guitarist Oli Herbert. Herbert is quickly becoming one of my favorite guitarists of the current generation of metal's 6-string slingers. The guitar solos on For We Are Many perfectly maintain their balanced attack on your auditory senses. Intense, melodic, masterful, classic. I am tempted to say 'timeless' to describe the soloing work on lead guitar, but that is up to time to tell. Almost every track on this album is worth hearing.
Happyheadbanger's recommended tracks:
-Now Let Them Tremble... (the intro, flows straight into the title track...)
-For We Are Many (All That Remains get straight to it with the title track; a fierce tour-de-force that reclaims their hardcore dominance.)
-The Last Time (A catchy, more melodic number, but still seriously heavy!)
-Won't Go Quietly (here we get all sides of All That Remains, and Oli Herbert adds a new twist with a voice-box effect towards the end.)
-Dead Wrong (One of the more extreme tracks on the album. The hardest vocals Phil has delivered since 'The Weak Willed' back on The Fall of Ideals...)
-Faithless (Another great, thrashy tune, lyrics convey the message of strength and resilience, as many ATR songs often do.)
-The Waiting One (Here the album closes with the softest offering from All That Remains. A beautiful ballad)