Death in my Arms

The Deepest Gray

Vicious Betrayal

I die in Degrees

Focus shall not fail

Regret not


For Salvation

tattered on my Sleeve

this darkened Heart

Philip Labonte - vocals

Oli Herbert - guitars

Mike Martin - guitars

Matthew Deis - bass

Mike Bartlet - drums

ALL THAT REMAINS : "This darkened Heart"     all that remains   Prosthetic Records

Produced, engineered and mixed by Adam Dutkiewicz (Killswitch Engage, From Autumn To Ashes, Norma Jean) at Zing Studios

preview - review  by dalia "gryphon_spirit" di giacomo____   

Well, gryphonmetal is really proud to include All That Remains in the number of the exquisite releases (mainly coming from the superb Death sphere and heritage) that  are released, the one after  the other, this year. All those who moan telling that there are no many great musical innovations and metal explosions should listen a bit less to Avril Lavigne, i think. This Massachusetts quintet is even better than the already excellent In Flames, even more mighty  than Korn, impressive like Lamb of God or Kataklysm, and , first value, muuuuch  Death , matching completely  the European taste too. The double -vocals line, between  guttural and screaming, reminds a bit of Kataklysm indeed.  All That Remains carry on the work of the "masters" of the melodic Death genre,  embrace the flag of one of the more winning paths (fierce Death/Melodic Death genetically recombined with the modern metal tendencies), and make of it something exceptionally massive and agile at the same time.  I  can only jump for joy in front of this quintessence of New Millennium Metal that  is bringing high the Death Flag adding to it those  melodies and those rhythmic's that nowadays attract old and young fans in  same measure, towering with resolute hook lines, with imposing catchy and mighty melodies that explode  immediately, with the extreme clearness of the sounds, with eclecticism of technique and with the supremacy of a rhythmic session that assaults you,  brute,  ferocious and giant like a raptor, but without a single mistake in sound and chords. This Darkened Heart is  a  bloodbath soaked with melodic contribution and enriched by  silver (but not "highpitched") guitar solos , lively and relentless instrumental sparks,  ass kicking bass lines, breathtaking evil vocals.  Another fact to be underlined and  put in  very foreground is that All That Remains are never repetitive. cause  every song is a source of ever surprising not predictable amazing passages that conquer you at once, without being in any way commercial, and being always faithful to the style. The swing between panzer- grenades and harmonious leads/acoustic's,  together with  the extreme dark pleasure given by  the aforementioned grenades and  saurian smashing,  just indicate the mastery of music hold by these "Klingons".  The albums ends and you hardly realize that 10 major tracks have been played , 10  velociraptors stuck their claws in your flesh, 10 mammoths have danced on your shoulders and harmonic guitars have cast a spell on you 10 times. You just want to listen to it again and again.

Just a couple of words for every song:  they are all beautiful, there is nothing to skip and, above all, they must be heard and not read!  The opener  Death in my Arms is mighty like the whole album, obsessing , engaged in killer loops but is opened by a round of gentle acoustic string: then is outburst in the fullest meaning of the word with a rocking hook instinct, same instinct shared with  The deepest Gray in balance between raw severity and sunny rays of rocking actions and sparkling solo's. Melodic Death and rocking attitude triumph for  Vicious Betrayal. I die in  Degrees is  outstanding aggression in melody (obviously) where a wide range of  influences meet one another, among which Kataklysm and In Flames.  Focus shall not Fail begins pounding, as a mid paced evil gravity, enlightened by discrete cymbals,  guitar embroideries and passages sung in clear that lead the song to uptempo launch and to an obsessive bridge.  The instrumental Regret not  begins with sad charming acoustic twin guitars preparing the way for the steamhammering rhythm and another embroidery of guitar- loops and weeping chords, just for returning there,  to Herbert's balladesque acoustic sorrow.  Passion is formidable: the song that sums up all characteristics of the band with a formidable cocktail of vocals and ideas: the screaming's have a Black appeal, the solo's are rocking , the attitude is In Flames-esque, the carpet of notes and grit is brilliant.  Hyperheaviness goes on  with For Salvation that  goes tight in the wake of the previous one, but with more classic Death rhythms, unstrained clear vocals that counterpart the nervous twisted loops. Tattered on my Sleeve, that imo has some ingredients from Lamb of God too, delivers us a super outro with  twin vocals. This darkened Heart (title track)  is the final Death attack and discharge of threatening grit.

Only flaw (but really to be seen under a magnifying lens):  production and mixing, that are however good, could be even more sensational,  this colossus of cleverness would have deserved an even more thunderous resolution of bass and piano and an absolute "3d rendering" of this raptorian force.  

"and salted rain now falls on my lips"

Rating: 9.7/10


dalia di giacomo    

GryphonMetal.ch  June 2001-2013Niederrohrdorf - Switzerland