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Keeping metal alive

The Fall of Ideals
The Fall of Ideals
By All That Remains

Razor & Tie Records: 2006

This review first appeared in Turbula in October 2006.

After its mid-1980s gussying up into a popular mainstream style that valued polish over passion and then disappeared from the national stage, the idea that heavy metal might become popular again still seems a bit far-fetched.

But bands like All That Remains show that the music continues to evolve to reflect the tastes of subsequent generations. Melding the anger and nastiness of '90s death metal with the accessibility of '80s hair metal, All That Remains takes sweetly melodic songs and wraps them in a barbed-wire edginess that keeps the music from ever appearing too mainstream.

The band's new album, "The Fall of Ideals," doesn't have a break-out song to get metal back on popular radio, but it does feature some great twin guitar work and some hard-to-forget songwriting. Most impressively, vocalist Phil Labonte regularly switches gears from bestial growling to a well-trained baritone as he goes from verse to chorus and back again. Nothing breathtaking or particularly new here, but an interesting enough mix for metalheads of all ages.