A War You Cannot Win

A War You Cannot Win

There are many bands whose members grew up on screamo that have no problem disconnecting from their roots when plunging into metalcore. All That Remains is not one of them. With their sixth studio album, the quintet proudly wears such past influences on their collective sleeves. Even their pop-punk influenced “Asking Too Much” incorporates some early 1980s classic-rock guitar parts. A War You Cannot Win opens with frontman Philip Labonte balancing his brutal bark with melodic singing over a similar contrast of blasting riffs and dueling guitarmonies. The following “You Can’t Fill My Shadow” boasts a harder attack in the rhythm section. As Labonte’s yelling gets more demonic here; his singing parts recall those of the late Layne Staley from Alice In Chains. Those younger Bieber-banged frontmen from contemporary metalcore bands could learn much from Labonte, who doesn’t need to employ a second singer to provide the genre’s prerequisite yin-yang duality. When taking on a slower ballad (“What If I Was Nothing”), he’s not afraid to break genre rules and eschew the screaming altogether.

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