The first thing I thought when I heard this was, "Great. Another ‘I can scream louder than you' metal CD." The kind of music that I have no idea what the fuck is being said. Initially, I had a headache when I started my listening session with The Fall Of Ideals, so after the second song, I turned the thing off. A few days later, and a fresh new bag sitting on my lap, I once again attempted to listen to this crazy style of metal that I never seemed to get a grasp on.
I sat through all eleven tracks, starting with "This Calling." The scream starts off the ditty, like the sound of a German Stukka dive-bomber charging to the deck below. As it levels out, that lead-in howl of a voice, the rocket burst of the drums force of the guitars and bass to join together into a pulsating chorus. When the guitars do have solo time, their sounds twist and echo with a scream sweeter than the grunting, chanting, hard gravel voice that barks out the lyrics like a drill instructor on Parris Island. At this moment I grabbed the liner notes. Thank the Gods, these katz put in the lyrics. Major A+ on the Fumo-rating chart.
Now I was armed with the power to hear what was being grunted. It's amazing how accessible the song becomes when you can understand what is being said. For example, on "We Stand," the lyrics read, "Walk a darkened road and we will be our own light/ Our foundation our core is strong/ Stand for what's right." These guys are giving you parts of themselves, who they are. What I thought was violence is actually passion with fury. It still sounded like angry music to me, but now I understood why.
"We Stand" and "It Dwells In Me" had some of the most charging guitar riffs I had heard in a long time. I was not thinking of these guys as just a bunch of head bangers who only know so many chords that they strike them real fast. This band is a group of very talented musicians. The structure and the rhythm aren't extremely complex, but the timing and the power are totally detailed. This group knows what it's doing.
"Six," which is track seven, reminded me of my all-time favorite heavy metal band, Iron Maiden. The guitars start off with what sounded like the beginning of "Aces High", and then in came the banshee cry. The jam lit up and exploded into a chase between the drums, the guitars, and the voice of the singer/shouter, whatever you're more comfortable with. The song takes you on a hell of a ride, and then halfway in, like being on the inside of a deep tube, silence. Guitars, gently drift in, until the green room is about to close, and boom! The chainsaw guitar work, along with the jackhammer drilling of the drums tossed you up on shore for the final end of the song.
As The Fall of Ideals came to a close, my mind had changed about this band, and the sound it was pumping out. On "Empty Inside," the lyrics are, "Don't want to lose everything/ Just want to feel again…" You can feel the pain of wanting someone back, and by now, you can see why one might be shouting it until one's throat was soar. At first, like I said, I'm not much into bands that have a sound that reminds me of the dog barking out jingle bells on the radio, but All That Remains have more than just a bark to them, and if you listen closely, it has a bite to it as well. Will I go see these guys in concert? It depends on if I feel I have the energy to keep up with them or not.
Written by Fumo Verde