All That Remains - Madness album review
Metalcore stalwarts pile on the sheen, but forget the passion
Becoming a ‘rock radio’ band may guarantee well-attended shows and healthy sales figures, but it also creates pressure to smooth off those rough edges. And so it is we find All That Remains – once a genuinely exciting band whose melodic choruses sat alongside frenetic riffs – producing saccharine, neutered nonsense like Far From Home and Back To You. These aren’t bad songs per se, but no one comes to ATR for plodding ballads. They’re not helped by Madness’s bizarre sequencing; front-loading its heavier (and, frankly, more interesting) songs, the result is an album that feels like it was recorded by two different bands. Eight albums into a 15-year career, change is inevitable, but this feels like a band pandering to a new demographic. Fans of ATR’s more recent output might want to check this out but anyone missing the visceral energy of 2008’s Overcome will be disappointed.