It has been a tough time for All That Remains. Less than a month prior to their ninth studio release, Victim Of The New Disease (Razor & Tie) founding member and guitarist, Oli Herbert passed away. Herbert was a key member that created the ATR signature sound. His technical Melodic Metalcore solos have always been memorable and for one last record, he doesn’t disappoint.
For two decades, ATR has amassed quite the discography and they haven’t been afraid to push themselves to their limit—progressing on their sound. Their breakthrough, The Fall of Ideals, has been expressed as their best effort and the one that put them on the map. Lucky for fans, Victim Of The New Disease is reminiscent of their third album and one of their heaviest.
The first track and single ‘Fuck Love’ kicks off the album. It’s relentless and heavy as their first singles usually are. The bands’ previous efforts at times find lead Philip Labonte vocals pretty soft and much can be said about second single and track, ‘Everything’s Wrong’, yet the song is pretty heavy. The instrumentals don’t hold back but fit so beautifully with Labonte’s harmony.
‘Blood I Spill’ is their standard Metalcore song. If you enjoyed ‘Six’ from The Fall Of Ideals this will be a treat – it may be formulaic but it actually works. ‘Wasteland’ sets you up for the acoustic ‘Alone in the Darkness’, not your ordinary acoustic track and not one that you will find the need to skip. This track is eerie and fitting with its dark tones. Then ‘Misery In Me’ comes in fast and hard with screams continuing in with the dark heaviness that the album has been so far.
‘Broken; is an optimistic track, skillfully crafted that sees ATR pushing through the tragedy they have been going through, though ‘Just Tell Me Something’ featuring Danny Wornsop (Asking Alexandria) feels sad. This collaboration is very emotional and somber, yes, most of the album is, but not knowing that ATR was going to be met with tragedy this track seems like it perceived the events—quite chilling. Combining the old school metalcore that ATR has pioneered with the new school metalcore that Asking Alexandria mines gives the album depth.
As melancholic as it has been ‘I Meant What I Said’ comes in with a good build to it before the title track wraps things up – a somewhat feel-good track that showcases Herbert’s last shredding guitar solo. As mentioned, he shines all throughout this record and shows his musicianship on how great he works and feeds off of guitarist’s Mike Martin and on this final song where the guitar melodies triumph.
The hardest, unfathomable thing that can happen to a band is to have a member pass, but if Victim Of The New Disease does prove to be All That Remains last record, it’s a great way to go. It has great moments with a nice flow. Herbert’s legacy clearly lives on.