ALL THAT REMAINS – THE ORDER OF THINGS
RELEASED: February 24th, 2015
At one point, All That Remains were at the forefront of metal. When metalcore ran supreme they basked in the glory, and their 2006 album The Fall of Ideals helped propel them to metalcore greatness. But with the changing times, so changed people’s interests. Though All That Remains still does stand high on the list of today’s most popular metal acts, even they realize that a change has to happen. That’s why they’ve pushed further away from the “metalcore” tag and have gone more into the realm of being a standard heavy metal band with their newest album The Order of Things.
I guess it started right after The Fall of Ideals that All That Remains started to change direction. Their next album Overcome was noticeably less intense, and that subsequently made for a bit of an awkward transition with some great songs and some that weren’t so great. They seemed to hit a good stride with For We Are Many, finding a good centre between metalcore and standard heavy metal. But then they released A War You Cannot Win which was more or less like Overcome in that it had an inconsistent feeling to its songs.
The Order of Things is All That Remains‘ latest attempt at greatness. It starts off with its leading single, This Probably Won’t End Well. After its piano intro, it becomes your standard metal song. The riffs are there and the vocal melodies are nothing to sneeze at. Vocalist Philip Labonte sticks to his clean vocals here and lets out some great vocal moments in front of otherwise standard instrumentation.
Here is the official video for This Probably Won’t End Well
All That Remains follow This Probably Won’t End Well with a healthy mix of heavy metal and metalcore songs. No Knock turns up the volume and turns down the tempo to a standard metalcore beat which Philip uses the opportunity to scream over. It’s lack of clean vocals and angry spirit are reminiscent of All That Remains’ better days on The Fall of Ideals. Divide and The Greatest Generation are both clean vocal songs. The former of the two is a bit too basic for my taste, but the latter has a lot of promise and is perhaps my favourite song on the album that is completely sung with a clean voice. I can’t help but interpret the line “remember what made us great” as something the band say to themselves now to inspire them to make music like they used to.
Before All That Remains continue to belt out loud heavy metal with songs like the fast and intense A Reason For Me To Fight they take a quick second to add in a softer song. For You is that softer song, starting with acoustic guitars and delivering heartfelt melodies. It may be a little corny and I guess there are some fans who won’t be pleased by this song, but I thoroughly enjoy it more each time I listen to it. For You lacks cliché’s that plague so many metal bands who try to, for whatever reason, add a softer song on their albums. Like most of the album, it’s Philip Labonte who makes the song worthwhile.
Perhaps my two favourite songs on The Order of Things come one after the other. Victory Lap sounds unlike anything else All That Remains has done. The vocal melodies in the verses sound like that of an alternative metal band while the chorus is perhaps my favourite on The Order of Things. That’s saying a lot since the best part of most of the songs on the Order of Things is their choruses. Pernicious also sounds very different from anything else from the album and from All That Remains in general. Like Victory Lap it mixes harsh and clean vocals, something that surprisingly few songs on the album do, and it also has melodies that just have something different about them. I can’t point it out exactly, but I can just say that the melodies are very un-All That Remains like.
As mentioned, there are a much higher number of songs on The Order of Things with most to all clean vocals compared to past All That Remains releases. Some of these songs can get kind of basic, but just about all of them have their moments. Bite My Tongue for instance has one of the better guitar solos on the album. Fiat Empire has the most metalcore clichés on the album, mostly in its double bass playing in the chorus and choices on when to use harsh vocals while Tru-Kvlt-Metal provides one last fast and intense metalcore outburst by All That Remains.
The final track on The Order of Things is Criticism and Self Realization. All That Remains take a very musical perspective to their writing of this song, providing one of the better riffs they’ve ever come up with and taking the opportunity to make the most of the songs seven-plus minute time frame to include some of the most unique changes I’ve ever heard the band do. It switches from intense metalcore to melodic metal in such fine fashion that I almost can’t believe this was written by All That Remains. And just as the album started, the song ends with the sound of a piano, this time playing a beautiful rendition of Criticism and Self Realization’s main riff.
It took a few listens to truly appreciate, but one thing that was always clear about The Order of Things is that it’s better than A War You Cannot Win. I wouldn’t go as far as to say The Order of Things is one of the best efforts by All That Remains, because it does have its moments where it could have been better and more original, but at the same time there are far fewer clichés then I’d have expected and some great moments that counteract the less than good moments. It is an album that is saved by a few awesome tracks that really make you forget the less than good ones, but regardless The Order of Things shows that All That Remains are far from the end of their rope.
Reviewed by Rock Review Phil
“Victory Lap” – It was between any of the two songs I proclaimed to be my favourites from the album, and not because they are my favourites from the album, but because they both blend metalcore and heavy metal better than any song on the album. I chose Victory Lap because I find it to be the better of the two tracks, more catchy and more true to what the rest of the album sounds like, but with its spurts of surprising moments that sound like nothing else the band has done.
8 (Out of 10)
|1.||“This Probably Won’t End Well”||3:48|
|4.||“The Greatest Generation”||4:00|
|6.||“A Reason for Me to Fight”||3:42|
|9.||“Bite My Tongue”||4:03|
|12.||“Criticism and Self Realization”||7:03|