With Victims of the New Disease All That Remains takes a step back toward their roots. They revive some of the hardcore elements that made them famous. The album isn’t as heavy as The Fall of Ideals but it is it is more hardcore than their last two albums. Overall, I found this album more enjoyable than Madness and A War You Cannot Win. More or less, Victims of the New Disease is a better version of those albums: it’s a bit of heavy stuff and a bit of softer stuff slathered with All That Remains’ patented attitude.
Unfortunately, this album is overshadowed by the untimely death of Oli Herbert. Oli will be missed by many, and his musical abilities will certainly be difficult to replace. However, we shouldn’t forget about the wonderful songs he left us with.
I like the evolution of All That Remains’ music. They started off as a metalcore band, blasting a finely tuned rage through their fan’s speakers. Now, their sound has cooled off a little, but they’re still pumping out angsty lyrics and heavy beats. They’re still loud and angry.
Much to the disappointment of their fans, All That Remains certainly cooled their sound on their last two records. Victims of the New Disease changes this formula, slightly. There are slower tunes on the band’s new album. “Alone In The Darkness” and “Everything’sWrong” are good examples of what a metal band can do when they want to construct a ballad. They’re epic, tender and riddled with melancholy. There are several metalcore songs sprinkled around these slower tracks. “Fuck Love” and “Victims Of The New Disease” immediately come to mind.
Songs Worth Investigating
“Fuck Love”, “Wasteland” and “Everything’s Wrong” dropped before the album. Naturally, these are great places to start. The first two tracks are heavy and will fulfill a metalhead’s need for a fun, loud song. “Everything’s Wrong” is more of a mid paced tune. Above I labeled it a ballad, which is a little misleading, although it walks a line between “a slow song” and something with a little more pep. This was my favorite track, because of how well it rides this line.
“Alone In The Darkness” reaches out to the inner emo kid inside and beckons him to come forward. Oli’s guitar work has always coupled well with Phil Labonte’s vocals, either when he is screaming or singing. “Blood I Spill” is another heavy song that quenches a metalhead’s thirst.
…And to Conclude
Victims of the New Disease is a solid album, and a step forward for All That Remains. Rather than trying to reinvent their sound again, the band simply tweaked it. They dusted off some of the elements that permeated their older records, and implemented them again. By adding this harsh and aggressive edge to their music again, the band “returns” to their roots, while stepping forward with the sound they’ve been developing over the last two albums.