Friday, July 18, 2008

Tirades of Truth: All That Remains - The Fall of Ideals

Ok one of the main purposes of this blog was to give my reviews of albums. I did a few early on, but obviously got away from it. So now I am starting up again with the tag "Tirades of Truth" for all of my album reviews.

I have talked about what a stellar year it has been for metal albums and how difficult it is going to be to make a top 10 list. On top of that there are still at least 5 albums that could easily be in the top 10; Metallica, Into Eternity, All That Remains, Trivium, Soulfly, and The Human Abstract. So I will take a look back at those bands last album to see what we might get this time.

So finally onto the review. All That Remains was a band I discovered after getting into Shadows Fall and Killswitch Engage. When I found out the lead singer, Phil Labonte, was the former lead singer of Shadows Fall I thought can't be bad. So I tracked down their debut Behind Silence and Solitude. I was immediately impressed. This is what metalcore should sound like. You had the hardcore vocals and sing-a-longs with some killer guitar work. This isn't a total shred-fest, but some heart and soul went into the songs. So I was really looking forward to the follow-up, This Darkened Heart. I was so disappointed by this album. It was like KsE with simple guitar solos. Everything that made their debut special was gone. Generic scream verses with clean mediocre.

So that brings us to The Fall of Ideals. The albums kicks off with the best song on the album, This Calling. Not only is it the best song on the album, but the intro just grabs you by the throat and shakes the hell out of you. The riff is reminiscent of the classic "galloping" riff of old Iced Earth. The drumming is relentless and never lets up. I notice that the verses are sung with the scream/growls and the choruses are clean, but it works so much better than TDH. With the next few songs you start to notice that the verses are also sung with clean vocals adding a big sense of variety to the album.

Phil's clean singing has improved a ton, which is what really makes this album go. Right when you think you have the album figured out, along comes The Weak Willed. No clean singing here, in fact the vocals would fit better in a brutal death metal band...but it works. It's a great change of pace. Especially the end of the song with the acoustic guitar work.

Guitar work is stellar. On their debut the solos had that something. On TDH, they seemed forced. With TFoI, they return to those solos that seem to just flow perfectly with the music. It Dwells on Me, Six, and Whispers are perfect examples of the guitar work. It's not rushed, it's not done to show how well they can play the scales.

There isn't one bad song on this album. From start to finish it works. The Weak Willed might be the hardest song for most, but as I said it breaks the album up just enough to keep it flowing.

Hopefully they will try to keep the magic going on their new one, Overcome, but who knows. Besides this album isn't going anywhere.

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