Prosthetic/Razor & Tie 2010
In the early 2000′s metalcore explosion Massachusetts quickly became the epicenter, launching the careers of Shadows Fall, Unearth, Killswitch Engage and of course All That Remains, among numerous others. Such close proximity, often paired with the identifiable production habits of Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz, led to a sound that was instantly definable by region.
However, it was Killswitch Engage who were to become the reigning kings of the genre and All That Remains who were seemingly left to always be next in line. With the latter outfit having moved towards more melodic territory on recent albums, much criticism has been leveled at them for being the musical equivalent of Killswitch Engage‘s hard rocking kid brother (Dutkiewicz once again helms the production here.) If anything “For We Are Many” essentially finds the band owning up to that title.
The searing technically oriented riffage and ruthless barks and screams are served as mere entrees to the often radio rock oriented choruses and the bland ballad driven instrumentalism that accompanies them. It’s readily apparent that the group are perpetually driving towards some grand melodic payoff and a few ripping solos or crushing breakdowns are hardly enough to mask that eventual conclusion.
In fact, the only real unexpected moments on this album come in the form of the deathcore bellows featured on “Some Of The People, All Of The Time” and the Richie Sambora-like soloing featured on “Won’t Go Quietly“.
To be fair “For We Are Many” exhibits the bands refined chops but that’s not to say it makes any real use of them. The groups abilities have certainly improved but often seem wasted on the predictable songwriting and overwrought sappiness of the cleanly sung choruses. These thinly veiled attempts at cracking the commercial rock radio market aren’t necessarily poorly written, so much as they are overused and entirely commonplace.
There often comes a time in a bands career when they sound like they are straddling the line between doing it to get something off their chest and doing it for a paycheck. Sadly, right down to the clichéd acoustic ballad that closes out the album, it’s become increasingly harder to tell which side All That Remains firmly stand on.
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