Release DetailsLABEL Prosthetic
RELEASED ON 3/23/2004
All That Remains
This Darkened Heart
posted on 4/2004 By:
Well, here it is. The day in which my belief that metalcore could possibly be taken seriously by metalheads everywhere. It's finally here. I almost want to apologize to the entire genre, and it's all because of All That Remains' This Darkened Heart.
All that Remains is a band probably best known for having Shadows Fall's former vocalist, Phillip Labonte, who appeared on "Somber Eyes To The Sky". Gaining a steady fanbase by touring with the likes of Sworn Enemy and The Crown, this Massachusetts outfit recently picked up a new guitarist and bassist for their most recent album, This Darkened Heart. Behind the recording is Adam Dutkiewicz of Killswitch Engage who has also produced bands like Cannae and Unearth, so you should have a pretty idea of what to expect here as far as the production goes.
As a vocalist, Labonte's fucking phenomenal, ranging from really typical tough hardcore vocals, to a middle sounding vicious yell, to a really desperate sounding scream that sounds like Phil Anselmo getting his fingernails torn out. With a lot of these metalcore bands, one of the main things bringing them down is having an incapable and monotone vocalist. This Darkened Heart even has some clean vocals that mesh remarkably with the songwriting, making things more anthemic and memorable.
The quickest comparison someone could make would be to bands like Shadows Fall and Darkest Hour - but as far as I'm concerned, there's a lot more going on here than with either of those two bands. There's the presence of strong dual guitar harmonies - an obvious nod to Iron Maiden, along with some choppy melodic thrash parts. With quite an abundance of well placed solos with even some sweeping arpeggios, All That Remains manages to combine even the craftiest of guitarwork with, at times, straight hardcore riffing. Doing what every metalcore act is desperately trying to perfect but falling short at, they also do a great job at balancing all this material out with softer acoustic and piano parts that fit perfectly. But fear not, it never becomes grating or comes off as filler material. All That Remains knows exactly what they're doing here, right on down to the precise drumming. One listen and you can tell that there's obviously a lot of heart that went into writing this album.
There's outstanding structure too, the kind of thing that'll get in your head and you won't want out. I even enjoy the fucking mosh breakdowns, and anyone who knows me knows my hatred of all things both mosh and breakdown.
There's really no need to say anything else about this record. I don't like to hand out good scores to albums that don't deserve it. If you've been in somewhat of a metal slump lately, or like myself, just disappointed with metalcore in general - do yourself a favor and grab This Darkened Heart.
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