All That Remains - Overcome
One of the most frustrating arguments a critic can get into is always on the topic of whether or not a band has gone "mainstream". Sometimes the argument from the critic can be valid, like the obvious overnight transition that Metallica went through once they put their nose to the floor and smelled the faintest whiff of money. There are some, on the other hand, that are only brought up to frustrate and annoy those people unfortunate enough to catch wind of them, because the only intention is to irritate fans of both the band and the particular genre of music. I never enjoy getting dragged into these arguments, but I don't see enough people standing up for All That Remains. So here goes a (mostly) unbiased review of an album I happen to enjoy.
On the surface, Overcome seemed to be a departure from everything All That Remains had built up to. Adam Dutkiewicz was not chosen to produce the album, and Jason Costa magically vanished from his drum throne. How the hell can you not make an album with a heavy hitting drummer like Costa and the lead singer from Killswitch Engage making sure your songs don't sound like shit? Well, as crazy as it seems, All That Remains pulled it off, perhaps making some enemies out of former fans, but you don't make music to please everyone.
If I had to pick one thing to say negatively about Overcome (and I have to, since this is a "biased" review) it would mostly concern the lack of psycho exorcist 10 second screams that made up nearly 90% of The Fall of Ideals, and not the fact that ATR has somehow gone "mainstream". Songs like "This Calling" blew me away with their raw intensity, and I feel that lacking in Overcome. But I know Philip Labonte didn't just decide one day he's not going to scream anymore. Any heavy metal screamer will tell you after so many years (nearly 10) of abusing your vocal chords; eventually you have to choose between being able to talk normally, and screaming ‘til your last breath until you have to use a voice box that makes you sound like Stephen Hawking. But don't think for a second that the intensity has dissipated at all from the sentient being of All That Remains. Tracks like "Do Not Obey" and "Undone" show off their ever consistent style. The riffs are tailored nicely to accommodate the arrival of a new drummer, and before long you're sucked into the ever thrashing world of All That Remains, albeit with slightly new wallpaper.
Is this the best All That Remains album so far? It's hard to tell at this point. The Fall of Ideals has been my go-to metal album for many years, and everything before that was one solid piece of material after another. I will say one thing, Overcome is definitely not deserving of all the negativity, being branded as the end of All That Remains, doomed to the same path as those who chose the dark side of mainstream media. Overcome has shown that minor changes to a band's sound and style can greatly affect the opinion of those whose opinion should never be listened to.
User Reviews and CommentsLog In or Register to Rate Albums
Tell us why this album is great or sucks ass, or correct the reviewer. If you write enough quality reviews you may find yourself on the editorial staff.
Reviews have to be over 100 words, shorter ones are classed as comments.
on 2011-07-31 hstisgod Said:
never enjoyed their stuff previously... however, it seems they may have a more sincere or intense sound... gonna have a listen i think