ARTIST: ALL THAT REMAINS
TITLE: VICTIM OF THE NEW DISEASE
WORDS: CERYN SARA
It is safe to say that 2018 has been a year of real highs and lows for All That Remains. The Massachusetts five-piece dropped their ninth studio album, Victim of the New Disease, via Fearless Records earlier this week, that sees the band back in full metal force with singer Phillip LaBonte himself describing it as their “heaviest record since For We Are Many in 2010!”
The album claims to take them back to their old roots with tracks such as the unapologetic opener ‘Fuck Love’ and the gut wrenching ‘Blood I Spill’ that could be compared to the likes of Killswitch Engage, among others but, the inclusion of equally catchy, arena ready tracks like ‘Everything’s Wrong’ and ‘Just Tell Me’ featuring Asking Alexandria’s Danny Worsnop adds a whole other dimension to the album, with LaBonte and Worsnop providing some hypnotic harmonies suggestive of a more radio friendly sound.
“…sees the band back in full metal force with singer Phillip LaBonte himself describing it as their “heaviest record since For We Are Many in 2010!””
The album’s debut single ‘Fuck Love’ exploded onto the scene earlier this month and saw fans excited and increasingly impatient for the albums eventual release. The track is by far the most consistently heavy song on the album with LaBonte really exceeding expectations in the vocal department, producing a number of impressive gutturals and screams. However, its proceeding singles were met with far less enthusiasm, leaving the metal community disappointed with the tone and styling of LaBonte’s vocals, particularly in ‘Everything’s Wrong’.
To follow the passionate, rage-filled track that is ‘Fuck Love’ with a slow burning rock ballad almost takes away from their claim to have returned to the heaviness of their hay days. Despite its mixed receptions though, it is precisely the mix of emotions and juxtapositions within these ten tracks that puts it up there as one of their best albums to date, allowing it to hold its own against their previous releases.
“it is precisely the mix of emotions and juxtapositions within these ten tracks that puts it up there as one of their best albums to date”
All in all, Victim of the New Disease has been universally met with excitement and acclaim but it cannot be ignored that perhaps its success is overshadowed by the sudden passing of guitarist and founding member Oli Herbert back in October of this year, particularly in light of the cause of death being confirmed just one day after the albums official release. It is clear that the metal community has suffered a tragic blow, understandably making it difficult to keep the focus on the success of the band’s latest creation. It is deeply saddening to know that this will be the last ATL record with a performance from Herbert on. As one of the bands forming members, and therefore instrumental in sculpting the band’s sound it will be interesting to see where ATL can go from here. Until then, Phillip LaBonte (lead vocals), Mike Martin (rhythm guitar), Jason Costa (drums) and Aaron Patrick (bass, backing vocals) will continue on in honour of their late bandmate.
Catch them on their European tour with Sevendust this December with Jason Richardson filling in on lead guitar for this stretch of the tour cycle.