All That Remains is back and blistering their way onto the charts again. As I write this review, A War You Cannot Win has broken the top 15 in first week sales AND I got to bear witness to some new material live last night. “Down Through the Ages” and “Stand Up” sounded phenomenal live and were a good addition to the classic ATR material.
If you are not familiar with All That Remains, it’s time to crawl out from under your rock and get moving. A War You Cannot Win takes over right from where For We Are Many left off. It’s an extremely solid mix of melody, harmony and crushing metal. Phil Labonte’s voice is top notch in both the growls and clean vocals. Guitarists Oli Herbert and Mike Martin compliment each other very well, and it’s almost like they know what each other are going to do before they do it. Jeanne Sagan on bass and Jason Costa on drums are an extremely tight rhythm section, and Jeanne‘s backing vocals are very cool.
“Down Through the Age”s is tune numero uno; an ass-kicker right off the bat. The song’s mix of harsh vocals, melody and screaming – plus an excellent guitar solo – starts this off the right way. “You Can’t Fill My Shadow” is equally impressive and might lend itself to be my favorite on the album. It’s a rager. Again, a very cool mix of harsh and clean vocals sung with attitude.
“Stand Up” is the first single, and it is a bit different. Not bad … just different. One-hundred percent clean vocals on this one, which will lead some of the old school fans to create an uproar, something Phil is willing to take head on, as he is certainly not one to avoid controversy. “A Call to Non-Believers,” “Just Moments in Time,” “Not Fading” and “Sing For Liberty” are straightforward metal with the trademark mix of clean/harsh vocals from Labonte and Sagan. All are great songs.
“What If I Was Nothin”g is going to be a huge hit for ATR. Phil lays it all on the line for this one and you can feel it. It has a huge chorus and isn’t quite as dark as “The Waiting One” from the For We Are Many album. “Calculating Loneliness” is a haunting acoustic instrumental. It is moody and dark.
A War You Cannot Win will be huge for All That Remains. It will please a whole plethora of fans, old and new, and I count myself among them.
A War You Cannot Win is out now on Razor & Tie.
Rating: 5/5 stars