For Fans Of
Seven is an impressive number of studio albums, and it doesn’t seem like All That Remains plan on bringing their career to a screeching halt any time soon. Having said that, their latest effort ‘The Order of Things’ doesn’t give them a reason to. Sure, it’s conventional – it fits itself neatly into the genres of ‘hard rock’ and ‘metalcore’ unquestionably. Regardless, it does see the band doing what they do best – even if that translates to producing music that isn’t particularly derived from innovation –and at this point in their discography, that’s commendable. If you’re an All That Remains fan, it can’t hurt to have more of what you already love. You’re just not getting anything new.
The record brings to the table equal amounts of melodic rock and a heavier approach. It contrasts thickly electric hard songs like opener ‘This Probably Won’t End Well’ with snappy metalcore screams on the edgy ‘No Knock’ and the arrogant ‘Victory Lap’. Breakdown guitars make themselves known on its nuanced follower ‘Pernicious’. Interestingly, the album jumps between sounds that accommodate legitimate comparisons to kingpins like Avenged Sevenfold and even A Day To Remember, and which, in the next second, make the prospect of those parallels being drawn seem laughable.
Despite its oft-heavy nature, the term ‘heavy metal’ is inaccurate regarding ‘The Order of Things’; tracks including the melodic and borderline poppy ‘Divide’ as well as the softened broken love song ‘For You’ cancel out and neutralise the extent to which this album renders itself a headbanger. What also undermines its intensity and burns holes in its tough exterior is its cheesy lyrics (refer to ‘A Reason For Me To Fight’). As much as we’d prefer for this not to be the case, mediocre statements are capable of being the bad apples that spoil the bunch. In that respect, rhythmically-convenient and disingenuous lyrics mar the album’s ability to be entertaining, as opposed to monotonous.
Moments of saving grace involve references to ‘The Greatest Generation’ on a tribute-style track with powerful harmonised vocals and a significant subject matter, in addition to ‘Tru-Kvlt-Metal’, which cements itself as the record’s redeemer. Its dubious title aside, the tune is a fast-paced return to form and a degree of sincerity.
The latter half of the LP is undeniably (and infinitely) more enjoyable. Its increased rapidity gives it more bark and more bite, but equally, it’s more complex. ‘Criticism And Self-Realization’ ends the album on a high, condensing the best aspects of All That Remains’ standard genre-dabbling from its beginning to its conclusion, as poignant piano notes bring this chapter in the outfit’s discography to a close.
If you’re game for some conventional hard rock sliced and diced with anticipated guitar solos, unoriginal lyricism and occasional uncleans, by all means have at it. If you’re keen for something that possesses a depth transcending its surface value, give this one a miss.
1. This Probably Won’t End Well
2. No Knock
4. The Greatest Generation
5. For You
6. A Reason For Me To Fight
7. Victory Lap
9. Bite My Tongue
10. Fiat Empire
12. Criticism And Self-Realization