Overall Score: 7/10 Riffs: 8/10 Melody: 7/10 Harsh Vocals: 5/10 Pros: Solid clean vocal performance | good riffs | A step in the right direction Cons: Lack of harsh vocals | too much focus on harmony | falls short of what it could have been
All That Remains have always been a band that have present throughout the development of metalcore. 2006’s The Fall Of Ideals propelled the band to mainstream success but records in previous years failed to hit the same excellence. Now, in 2015 the band are back with their seventh studio record, The Order of Things. Does this new offering by replicate the excellence of The Fall Of Ideals or does it fall at the first hurdle?
The Order of Things certainly strives to replicate the power and melody that All That Remains are known for, throughout the entirety of the record there are plenty of sequences of melody, through both guitar harmonies and vocalist Phil Labonte that make an instant impact on the listener. Divide features a chorus that drives through powerful clean vocal work that will hook the listener in an instant whilst the power ballad For You drives emotions from start to finish. All That Remains have always featured melody throughout their musical career but you get the feeling that The Order of Things features some of the band’s best melodic elements to date.
Of course in metalcore, fans expect power to accompany melody and this is where The Order of Things falls short. The record features a lack in Phil Labonte’s harsh vocals, a trait that was so brilliant on past records is more or less non-existent on The Order of Things. That majority of the record focuses solely on the use of clean vocals, and whilst they are performed to a high musical standard you can’t help but feel slightly disappointed that there is such an absence. There are moments however that do strike resemblance to the All That Remains of old; No Knock features some wicked guitar play whilst Labonte’s harsh vocals roar in absolute power and the humorously titled Tru-Kvlt-Metal showcases one menacing breakdown and a truly sensational solo. It’s disappointing that these moments are few and far between and it ultimately causes The Order of Things to drop in making an overall impact to the listener.
Whilst in terms of harsh vocals The Order of Things does lack in quantity, it’s certainly refreshing that the record features some absolutely excellent guitar work. The record frequently features a combination of guitar play from Oli Herbert and Mike Martin which results in what fans can expect from metalcore; crushing breakdowns, solid leading solos and intricate but deadly riffs. For example The Greatest Generation showcases this combination at its best with a sweeping riff accompanying heavy breakdowns. It’s fantastic to see that All That Remains still utilise this musical aspect that was so successful on past records.
The Order of Things certainly has elements that replicate the All That Remains of old and it certainly is a vast improvement over 2012’s A War You Cannot Win but ultimately, the record falls short of what it could have been. The band did state that The Order of Things would focus more towards harmony in the vocal elements, however when that is compared to the band’s back catalogue you can’t help but feel this approach fails to hit the target. It’s not that The Order of Things is necessarily a bad record, it’s not, it just fails to hit the heights of The Fall of Ideals and send the band to new heights in the modern metalcore scene.
The Order of Things is set for release on February 24th via Razor & Tie
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