All That Remains has been a force to be reckoned with since 2000, releasing albums that sit on the unstable border of Rock and Metal and stirring up conversations about genre limitations. More recently bold and daring frontman Phil Labonte has been making headlines about controversial views on Gays and Blacks and the differences of struggle. Regardless of whether you agree with his views, you probably admit All That Remains is stirring things up and working their way up the pedestal in Hard Rock and Metal; In the end it should all be about the music anyway. The new brave and bold Heavy Metal release “The Order of Things” is definitely a well played and highly talked about album in 2015, creating bridges and burning them all over again.
If you frequent this site and blog, you are aware of my displeasure with Mainstream Rock and Metal these days, and also my disappointed feelings towards American Metal. It is odd for me to review such a high profile Radio Friendly Heavy Metal album, but I have my reasons for reviewing “The Order of Things”. All That Remains has drifted from their original Melodic Death Metal roots and become more Mainstream, which displeases me a bit. However, the band has made it work and has created a unique identity that sets them apart. This daring feat has lead me to respect this band and what they work for with their music and I wanted to review this album as fairly as possible.
“The Order of Things” is a surprisingly diverse and well executed Heavy Metal album. The album mixes Mainstream Lyrical themes (relationship based story songs) and Melodic Technical Guitars featuring well done solos. The guitar work is what hugely separates this band from the boring and monotone Metal being played on the radio, in my opinion. I find the guitars layered nicely and dynamic with different sounds and styles. The vocals are pretty well done, although a bit weak on some songs. The heavy and powerful instrumentation sometimes overshadows the vocals and sounds unbalanced. I particularly noticed this on Bite My Tongue and The Greatest Generation. Otherwise, the vocals are well done and very relatable on For You and Flat Empire. My favorite part of the vocals however is the growls and the heavier style on this album. No Knock is definitely my favorite track on the album, because of the guttural growls done on the track. True-Kvlt Metal is also a huge standout on this album and keeping it to a likable level of heaviness. I liked some tracks more than others, mostly because of personal preference, but I think all people will find their favorite tracks on this album.
Overall, I think this is a pretty good and strong effort All That Remains. Every track is diverse from others, meaning the album is more about individuality than a succinct style. However, the album is pretty straight forward Heavy Metal and doesn’t really differ much from other bands in the genre. The lyrics are also difficult to connect with for me, but I know that’s not the case for thousands of fans. I would like All That Remains to refine the clean vocals and introduce a lot more power as well as branch out into other styles. Personally, this album will not hold up in 2015 due to so much more powerful and heavy releases and I will not end up buying this one.
Overall Rating 6/10- Although this album is good, especially for Mainstream Metal/Rock, I think it will soon be forgotten and overshadowed. It lacks any truly great and catchy aspects.