All That Remains offers up basic hardcore elements, diversifies with chutzpah 

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Though my older brother spoon-fed me steely bites of Metallica in my formative years and I clamped onto Rise Against with a fierce vigor, it was only after All That Remains came through Diamond Ballroom last Sunday that the seven-album-deep band crossed my path.

Now that they have, I wonder how I missed them.

The band, which features Phil Labonte, Oli Herbert, Mike Martin, Jeanne Sagan and Jason Costa, unveils its new album, The Order of Things, on Tuesday.

With the release of its album single “No Knock” last November, its hardcore fans raved. No more fucking mainstream ninny-gagging. Perhaps the fans believed it shed its hunger for universal appeal.


However, it’s an easy assumption to make. While vocals in some genres might caress you with sweet, airy lilts or move in around you with enveloping walls of warm Miami waves, frontman Phil Labonte’s tear at you. Your own throat feels the strain.

(Ricola, anyone?)

Despite this grunting vocal discharge, the album isn’t screamo.

This band is too polished and self-aware to fully commit that way. And they shouldn’t.

“To be flat-out honest, all I want is for people to walk away from our shows or records feeling better,” Labonte said in a media release. “That’s who we are.”

Throughout its discography, All That Remains’ strength has been its ability to diversify while keeping the most important hardcore elements intact. It walks the line.

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For instance, The Order of Things bookends with a lone piano. There’s a moment in opening track “This Probably Won’t End Well” when you look around wondering if you even played the right song. But sure enough, the drum beat drops, a slashing riff cuts in and Labonte’s soaring refrain takes hold. Follow that with “No Knock” and it becomes clear this album has chutzpah.

From there, however, it carries on with surprisingly pleasant vocal harmonies, uplifting positivity, the expected fret-thrashing and even a poetic acoustic piece. This band doesn’t fit my expectations for it, and I appreciate that.

While tenacity thrives in the band’s compositions, it isn’t overwhelming, and there is constant appeal to emotional positivity: Gather your integrity.../Show the world what strength can be/Live your life in honesty.

This band wants to make you feel better, energize and lift you.

But that feeling only comes after a change in thinking.

“You have to adapt to the world around you as opposed to expecting everything to adapt to your perspective,” Labonte explained. “This album is about adapting to music, to self and to the world around us ... This is literally The Order of Things.”

print headline: Finding Order

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