All That Remains - Madness review


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Band: All That Remains
Album: Madness
Release date: April 2017

01. Safe House
02. Madness
03. Nothing I Can Do
04. If I'm Honest
05. Halo
06. Louder
07. River City
08. Open Grave
09. Far From Home
10. Trust And Believe
11. Back To You
12. Never Sorry
13. The Thunder Rolls [Garth Brooks cover]

Well at least the title explains what happened with this record.

All That Remains are a band who have been on a downward slope for awhile, from the heights of The Fall Of Ideals through the streamlining and smoothing of their sound, it has reached a new low here in Madness. Much like fellow genre bedfellows In Flames, they have divested themselves of what once made them brilliant in the adoption of a new sound.

Madness is a confused collection of ideas from a band going through a midlife crisis; while the band have sought to become radio-friendly with generic and formulaic song structures and riffs to this end, they second guess themselves a lot and try to tip their hat to the harder sounds of old. Add into this melting pot the utilization of electronic sounds with little real planning of how to benefit from their inclusion, Madness becomes a very apt title indeed.

The result is that you end up with a muddled album, with some songs sound like all three competing elements smashed together and others where the song seems well planned out before jamming an additional element into it unnecessarily. While this could have been overcome with stronger song writing, the band seemed to have forsaken this in order to fit into a new style that has yet to sound like a natural fit. "Open Grave" and the title track epitomise how this muddled thinking spills out into the songs.

Where Madness does get it right are in tracks that know what they want to be and they unashamedly go for it; songs like "Halo" and "Trust And Believe" stand out because they are at least made with conviction. The band do sprinkle other enjoyable parts in other songs, but they are often swallowed up by the rest of the track; the riff to "Safe Home" threatens to go somewhere before being blunted by the crap the rest of the track is for example.

All That Remains aren't bad musicians, but they play it very safe for much of the album. While the album does feature some biting riffs from Herbert (R.I.P.) and Martin, for the most part they are outnumbered by some generic rhythms and riffs. Patrick is nigh-on invisible for much of the album, only appearing when the guitars and electronics aren't thrust in your face. Costa does get moments to shine but for the most part his parts are predictable and unchallenging. Labonte has a great voice, but there are few outstanding moments, either due to the electronic effects piled on his vocals or from the songs not allowing him to play to his strengths.

Overall, Madness is easily skippable; the few bright sparks aren't bright enough to draw your attention in and the only reason I could see for anyone being curious beyond this would be the cover of "The Thunder Rolls", which isn't worth it. All That Remains have it in them to pull out of this nosedive, but they seem content with the direction their career seems to be heading in.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 5
Songwriting: 4
Originality: 4
Production: 8


Written on 05.10.2020 by Just because I don't care doesn't mean I'm not listening.


Comments: 2   Visited by: 15 users
05.10.2020 - 22:53
Surprised that they still seem to have some kind of sizeable following, by this point they've sucked for longer than they've been good; I gave up when The Order Of Things featured music that matched the lack of inspiration evident in the title
05.10.2020 - 23:38
They suck so bad now it's almost like a joke but not a funny one. I used to love them, but they have been putting out crappier and crappier records. Just awful. Can't image their fan base has grown from it. Disappointing.

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