CD Review of The Fall of Ideals by All That Remains

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The Fall of Ideals
starstarstarstarno star Label: Prosthetic Records
Released: 2006
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All That Remains formally introduced themselves to the metal community with 2004’s This Darkened Heart, a brutal and uncompromising album that had all the elements metalheads crave; least of which include kick-ass riffs, wild solos, and attitude. With The Fall of Ideals, the band has expanded notably, and should see bigger success as a result. Vocalist Phil Labonte has shaped his voice into even more of a deadly weapon than it already was, giving each song an extra punch that few bands can rival.

The opening track (and single), “This Calling,” sets the tone beautifully. All That Remains adheres pretty closely to the tried and true formula of face-melting verses and melodic choruses, but guitarists Mike Martin and Oli Herbert make sure we get much more than that. Their harmonizing, often gorgeous solos blanket nearly every track on The Fall of Ideals. A few acoustic riffs also complement the music perfectly on tracks such as “Whispers (I Hear Your),” “The Weak Willed,” and “Six.” This is wondrously layered, precise metal. If you want the whole package performed to perfection, check out the album’s best track, “The Air I Breathe.”

Labonte’s vocals have taken a quantum leap since This Darkened Heart, and look no further than the aforementioned “The Weak Willed” for the evidence. His growl made me want to check my closet just to make sure there were no mutant barbarians from hell waiting for me. His scream rivals that of Killswitch Engage’s Howard Jones in terms of intensity and clarity, and his vocals are clean, crisp and delivered with passion. I can’t recall the last time I have heard such massive improvement to an already solid vocalist; from one album to the next, mind you.

All That Remains certainly have gained the support of some of the scene’s most prominent and talented individuals. Killswitch Engage’s Adam Dutkiewicz produces the album with his signature touches (KsE fans will get the gist of that drift) and Soilwork’s Peter Wichers, a groundbreaking guitarist in his own right, has engineered All That Remains’ sound with dedication. This is a top-notch production in all respects.

The Fall of Ideals will likely be the album that really pushes All That Remains to the metal forefront. They’ll be on the second stage at Ozzfest 2006, which is a place that launched bands such as Shadows Fall and Killswitch Engage. It would not surprise me one bit to see All That Remains accomplish the same success

~Bill Clark