1. Before the Damned
2. Two Weeks
4. Forever In Your Hands
6. Days Without
7. A Song For The Hopeless
8. Do Not Obey
11. Believe in Nothing
If I was to introduce, nay, coerce an individual into loving the genre of metal, it’d be wise not to go full-on death metal with Job for a Cowboy or Carnifex. Rather, I would start with beginner-level metal, like bands from the current “New Wave of Heavy Metal” movement or whatever Wikipedia calls it. I’m talking about the mainstream successes of bands like Killswitch Engage, Lamb of God or All that Remains, and with the latter’s newest release Overcome, metal noobies galore have the potential to join us. Indeed, ATR keeps the ball rolling on their fan-friendly-but-still-deadly approach to melodic metalcore from their previous CD The Fall of Ideals, returning the key elements of their success while throwing in some more soft touches.
Despite more presence of singing (Two Weeks is absent of growls) I’d have to say Overcome is a little more focused and darker than Ideals, although probably not heavier. Phil Labonte, who still holds his own in the growl department on this album, uses several interesting vocal styles, including the rough sounding half singing to the full out radio friendly chorus voice. His metal voice is outstanding as always, especially in “Before the Damned” and “Relinquished,” arguably the heaviest songs of the album. The production is tight, but still a little rough to give it that metal edge, but nowhere near the rawness of This Darkened Heart.
ATR make a living off their complex single note riffs, like the main intro riffs to “Two Weeks” and “Undone.” ATR also enjoy harmonizing the crap out of any riff they come up with, which sounds cool regardless. The guitar work in general, with an abundance of breath taking solos, is thanks to the talented tandem of Oli Herbert and Mike Martin. I especially enjoy their solos in “Two Weeks” and the intro riff they reuse in the solo of “Chiron.” And of course, ATR balances out the fast paced metal attack with random quiet moments, such as the one in “Chiron” and the ballad beginning of “A Song for the Hopeless.”
I need to make sure I highlight the standout songs that I have not mentioned yet. “Before the Damned” is the best song, mostly because of its characteristic ATR feel, a fast paced, driving song with quick transitions into chorus and verse, not to mention a great buildup at the beginning that sets off the album as well as “This Calling” on Ideals. “Forever in Your Hands” is an emotionally powerful song, and a new but good direction for the band. The last song, “Believe in Nothing,” sounded strange to me, until I realized it was a Nevermore cover, which still sounds good with the rest of the album and a good melodic closer.
All that Remains’ Overcome certainly stands up with Ideals, sticking to the guns that thrust the band into the spotlight. There is still plenty of fast paced, bouncy metal to go around, but ATR definitely branch out to further exploit their talented melodic side. You won’t expect any unwanted surprises, and the fact that the band did not try to genre-jump is a good thing for this band-for now. Overcome does everything right, and as mentioned before, a great pickup for anyone who wants to be totally metal.
*Written By: Jacob Kanclerz*