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All That Remains Beyond Silence and Solitude

By Vinnie Apicella, Contributor
Friday, June 14, 2002 @ 3:14 PM


(Metal Blade)

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I got a quick commentary on the written background of the band. While I agree with the idea of promising American Power "Metalling" its way up the East Coast and lending a new and greater depth to the surge first created by our NWOBHM counterparts, I'm not getting this Hard-Core and guitar virtuosity suggestion.

All That Remains, to a further degree than Shadows Fall before them, where vocalist Philip Labonte happened to depart from, is tracking step for step the many Norse-Gods who've defined the legion of Swedish acts that have flushed and filled a previously sorrowful "extreme" metal well. You can't listen to "Beyond Silence And Solitude" and not think of Amon Amarth or even In Flames -- this all goes back as far as At The Gates, and their impact needs no recollection.

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Yet the fact remains, it's about time isn't it? Yes, this genre of metal music is finally making a strong showing on Western shores and building upon the dynamic instrumentation of the Priests and Maidens before them. ATR ups the magnification by ten, with quicker tempos fed by deathly vocals, firepower drumming, and sharper riffs shadowing melodic fills. "Beyond…" is unusual in that there's no anger or animosity driving the lyrics; no myths and mysticism shrouding a God vs. Devil scheme, but rather sensitively drawn moments of recourse and reflection -- thematically, we're lost in thought, questioning faith, and willing ourselves to carry on.

All That Remains turns out to be a side project gone straight and finally manage to see the light of day after numerous interruptions. Through it all they arrive at the right time as American fans clamor for a new power to do away with the gluttonous proportions of Nu-Metal trends and tunelessness.

****


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