For more than a decade, heavy metal band All That Remains has produced some awesome, head-banging music. And its latest and sixth album is no exception.
“A War You Cannot Win” resembles classic ATR with a fascinating combination of singing and screaming from lead singer Philip Labonte, as well as a smooth and powerful double-bass pedal from drummer Jason Costa.
Most of the songs on the album show off the intense side of ATR, such as “You Can’t Fill My Shadow” and “Sing for Liberty.” Both songs include an all-out explosion of screaming and double-bass pedal in the beginning, followed by solid guitar solos.
ATR’s softer side comes out in other songs on the album, such as “Asking Too Much” and “What If I Was Nothing?” which tone down the intensity to produce beautiful and melodic pieces featuring Labonte’s vocals.
The band’s motivational side is reflected greatly in “Stand Up,” with lyrics “We’ve worked, so hard / Pushed every day now / See the blood sweat and tears on our face / We’ve never been stronger.”
The only downfall about the album involves the two guitar-only songs, “Calculating Loneliness” and “Intro.” To me, slower songs are either hit or miss – if they flow well with the previous or next song, they can be very effective. However, “Intro,” ironically the sixth song on the album, and “Calculating Loneliness” do not flow well with the other songs, and I thought they were a distraction from the rest of the album.
Despite those lacklusters, ATR continues to provide outstanding heavy metal music. Whether you’re ready to rock or take it easy and relax, “A War You Cannot Win” is indeed a winner.