By Derek Turner
A War You Cannot Win, ironically released Nov. 6, brings the heavy hits you are used to with All That Remains, but also adds some metalcore sounds and hits you hard right off the bat.
“Down Thru The Ages” comes right at you with the menacing death metal vocals of Phil Labonte and high-pitched screams from bassist Jeanne Sagan. It sets the tone of the album with a screeching guitar solo and heavy percussion. “You Can’t Fill My Shadow” continues to bring the brutality. The heavy drums of Jason Costa really give this song strength behind the heavy vocals. This song just gets you pumped and makes you want to move.
The guitars are very impressive all throughout this record. Oli Herbert and Mike Martin can absolutely shred, especially in “A Call To All Non-Believers.” They do bring it down a tick with the radio single “Stand Up” and a possible second single “Asking Too Much.” These tracks are what the casual All That Remains fan expects and they nailed it.
“What If I Was Nothing” could very well be another single. It starts out slow, but picks up just enough to make it a memorable track, a nice change of pace which sets this band apart from many. They can play the slow song well, but don’t lull you to sleep as “Sing For Liberty” and “Not Fading” come right back at you hard and in your face. The acoustic instrumental of “Calculating Loneliness” brings it way down, but the album finishes almost as heavy as it started with the title track.
Labonte’s vocals are what make All That Remains who they are. Many may say their songs sound the same and they may, but it works for them. This album should appeal to the mainstream rock and metal fans, but also satisfy metal heads and even some of the hardcore crowd.