THEPRP REVIEWS

Still Remains Ceasing To Breathe

Independent 2014

All that remains.

Still Remains - Ceasing To Breathe

11

Life after death is a tricky thing to pull off, but having a good portion of your original lineup upon resurrection certainly helps. Outside of a 2011 live show, Still Remains originally closed up shop back in 2008—a relative eternity in the metal scene. To further illustrate just how much time has passed, they announced their breakup on Myspace.

Alongside outfits like The Agony Scene; Still Remains represented a portion of Roadrunner Records‘ mid-2000’s push to conquer the then still nascent metalcore scene. With their independent return, “Ceasing To Breathe“, the group catch up quickly, appropriately modernizing their sound; while (mostly) avoiding a qualifying run in the bass drop Olympics.

Boasting rigid chops and some blackened screams wrenched out over viral riffage, their renewed hunger is apparent. But Still Remains‘ whirring keyboard driven ambiance and the periodic retreat to clean melodic vocals can drift the album into unsure waters.

We’re not talking brutal verse meets sappy chorus here (well not all the time anyway.) But the potency of the material is far more pronounced on the Living Sacrifice-reminiscent “Closer To The Grave“; than the overtly synthy pop moments of “Beacon“. For it is songs like the latter where weakness is laid bare.

Still Remains‘ split personality can border on pandering when at its most saccharine. This is the proverbial dealbreaker. With thousands of bands already trying their hand at the Rise Records template, hearing another go down the same route does little to impress—even if it guarantees a connection with a younger fanbase.

It will take a fairly open mind to go from the snarling deathy moments of “Keeping Secrets” to the barely restrained pop-punk found on the title track. The pervading appearance of some well-worn tendencies (spoken word parts, floaty synths, etc.) also takes some wind out of the bands sails; but for the most part Still Remains have arisen with their dignity intact.

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