All That Remains
All That Remains (@ATRhq) is a melodic metalcore band from Massachusetts formed by former Shadows Fall vocalist, Phil Labonte, in 1998 with guitarists Chris Bartlett and Oli Herbert, drummer Michael Bartlett, and bassist Dan Egan. It was originally supposed to be a side project for all the members, but they made it a full time gig after Phil left Shadows Fall. At this time, they were more of a melodic death metal band defined by the very original guitar playing and harmonizing by Chris and Oli. The band toured and created a demo in 1999. They were eventually picked up by Metal Blade Records and would release their first album in 2002.
Behind the Silence and Solitude is a melodic death metal album with harmonized guitar riffs, rapid fire drumming, and melody progression. It is very different from their future releases as there are no sung interludes. All the vocals use a deep growl, while still having a melodic quality to them. The band would take elements of this album and incorporate them into the metalcore sound they would use on future albums.
The release of a second album almost never happened. In 2002, shortly after the release of Behind the Silence and Solitude, the lead singer of Killswitch Engage, Jesse Leach, left the band. Phil was close with many of the members and tried out for the opening. He was the top choice with all the band members until Howard Jones from Blood Has Been Shed tried out and ultimately won the job. Everything would end up working out for the best for both bands.
Their first album would be the only release with Chris Bartlett and Dan Egan. Dan Egan left in 2003 and was replaced with bassist Matt Deis. Chris Bartlett left shortly after in 2004 to pursue other interests. Oli Herbert recruited his guitar student, Mike Martin, to replace Chris. Their familiarity with each other gave the band an even better harmonized guitar sound that it is still known for today. The reshuffling led to a move away from death metal to a cleaner metalcore sound for their second album.
This Darkened Heart released in 2004 began the band’s change to metalcore. While the vocals are cleaner and some songs contain sung refrains, All That Remains set themselves apart from other metalcore bands by mixing it with slight aspects of melodic death metal. They continued to use a dual guitar sound and instead of hardcore breakdowns, they used guitar solos on a few tracks. Although Labonte was singing more, his growl style was still in the death metal realm. The end of 2004 saw the departure of bassist Matt Deis who would later resurface in 2005 as the new bassist for CKY. Matt would be replaced by female bassist, Jeanne Sagan, who was the touring bassist for the Massachusetts deathcore band, the Acacia Strain, in 2003. Drummer Michael Bartlett left in 2006 and was replaced by death metal drummer, Shannon Lucas. With this lineup, the band would release their best and most critically acclaimed album in 2006.
The Fall of Ideals marked a move even further toward metalcore in some aspects with a move back to some death metal sounds from their first album giving All That Remains their signature unique and original metalcore sound. Most songs now contained hardcore breakdowns with no solos and melodically sung refrains. The death metal harmonized guitar sound remained and Labonte actually went back to the type of growl that he had on their first record. The Fall of Ideals is still their most critically acclaimed album to date and is a benchmark in the world of metalcore. This album along with As I Lay Dyings, An Ocean Between Us, helped to pioneer melodic metalcore.
In 2007, Shannon Lucas left All That Remains and joined Detroit based melodic deathcore band, The Black Dahlia Murder. He was replaced by former Diecast drummer, Jason Costa. This would complete the present lineup of Phil Labonte, Oli Herbert, Mike Martin, Jeanne Sagan, and Jason Costa. The band toured heavily and released a live DVD in 2007. All That Remains: Live is a double DVD and CD with live tracks from concerts in Baltimore and Philadelphia. It contains their best material from This Darkened Heart and The Fall of Ideals.
With Overcome in 2008, All That Remains would keep their signature sound from The Fall of Ideals. The only changes would be an emphasis on more guitar solos and more singing. Most songs on this album have solos in addition to breakdowns and Labonte continued his melodic death metal growl, but would sing more often than he had in the past. The result was a polished metalcore album with strong critical praise. It entered the Billboard charts at #16 and produced their biggest commercial hit to date, “Two Weeks”. In evolving their unique style, they created two acoustic metalcore songs, “Days Without” and “Believe in Nothing”, which is something that had really never been done before. 2008 and 2009 saw All That Remains touring heavily to promote the album. While on tour, Jason Costa, broke his hand and was replaced by Dimmu Borgir session and touring drummer, Tony Laureano, for a few dates.
All That Remains released their fifth studio ablum, For We Are Many, in 2010. The album went a bit more to the commercial side with a mix of full clean vocal songs and the signature melodic metalcore sound. The signature heavy tracks on the album are regarded as amongst their best material and bring even more melodic death metal elements from their first album back into the fold. All That Remains continued to tour, opening for acts like Hollywood Undead and other mainstream heavy hitters through 2011 and 2012. They played the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival in April of 2012 as the Saturday night headliner.
After touring heavily for years, All That Reamains returned to the studio to put the finishing touches on their album, A War You Cannot Win. The album was released to mixed reviews in November of 2012. The album was loved by many fans but many critics felt it went too far toward the commercial and hard rock side of things giving the band a watered down and formulaic sound.
All That Remains continues to be a force in the world of metlacore and heavy metal as a whole. With the popularity of metal being high but mostly non commercial, All That Remains helps to bridge the gap between heaviness and commercial rock.
- Behind the Silence and Solitude (2002)
- This Darkened Heart (2004)
- The Fall of Ideals (2006)
- All That Remains: Live (2007)
- Overcome (2008)
- For We Are Many (2010)
- A War You Cannot Win (2012)