In the early 2000’s the New Wave of American Heavy Metal was having a successful reprise. Heavy acts such as Korn and System of a Down had become household names, bands Deftones and Slipknot were now Grammy winners, and the more aggressive sounds of Lamb of God and All That Remains were being featured in video games such as Guitar Hero and movies like Saw.
After nearly 15 years, the dynamics of the genre have shifted, with fewer metal bands hitting the mainstream, fewer radio stations willing to play heavy metal, and pressure applied by labels demanding high streaming numbers, the metal genre is being pushed back to the underground where it originated, but if it’s one thing that hasn't changed, it’s the dedication of the fans.
“We keep making music and people keep coming to the shows,” says Phil Labonte, singer for All That Remains, “we’ll put a video up on YouTube and it will still get a couple of million views so I don’t see any reason to stop.”
The Massachusetts-based metalcore band will play at The White Oak Music Hall on September 24bringing along Italian gothic-metal act Lacuna Coil after just finishing up an Australian tour with Devildriver.
“Australia was great, we haven't played there in a few years. Last time we were there was 2011, we did [Touring Australian music festival] Soundwaves. This was our third time there and it was killer, we had a great trip, we hit Alaska first, went down to Australia, then over to Hawaii to finish it off.”
The heavy metal band consisting of Phil Labonte (vocals), Mike Martin (rhythm guitar), Aaron Patrick (bass guitar), Jason Costa (drums), and former Born of Osiris guitarist Jason Richardson (lead guitar), will be continuing another tour this fall to promote the release of their latest album Victim of the New Disease. (Richardson replaced founding member Oli Herbert after Herbert was found dead in October of 2018. Although originally ruled as a drowning, an investigation is currently on-going due to suspicion of foul play.)
Victim of the New Disease band's ninth studio album, and brings the return of the original metalcore sound back to the band. Using deep guitar rhythms mixed with extreme drum patterns, the band displays a familiar heaviness that has been absent from their more recent releases. To obtain this disruptive sound, All That Remains teamed up with friend and fellow Massachusetts native, Daniel “DL” Laskiewicz, producer and former guitarist for The Acacia Strain.
“We actually did say we wanted to intentionally do a heavy record, that's part of the reason we did it with 'DL'." Labonte says. "He’s produced a lot of really heavy bands and we’ve know each other for a long time, we’ve toured with The Acacia Strain when we were both signed and unsigned, we're from the same area, and we knew what we were getting with him. We wanted the album to sound a certain way and knew he’d be able to produce that sound and we’re extremely happy with how it turned out."
Songs like the aggressive opener “Fuck Love” use fast paced double bass and a headbanging rhythm that attack the listener’s ears with an onslaught of new sounds. It continues to a thunderous breakdown and ends with a chilling, ten-second-long scream by vocalist Labonte. The song was the first song used to promote the new album.
“The thing about Fuck Love, is you’re limited to where you can play it. Radio isn’t going to like it because, first off it’s all screaming. And second, its got 'Fuck' in the title” explains Labonte. “We knew that going in, so we planned to release two singles, “Everything’s Going Wrong” and “Just Tell Me Something”
The song “Just Tell Me Something” in particular, features Danny Worsnop.[vocalist of Asking Alexandria] Trading verses between Labonte and Worsnop, both singers showcase a melodic style during the song. It finishes with a beautiful mix of harmonizing vocals.
“He’s a buddy of mine so I texted him [Worsnop.] I told him ‘Dude, we got this song, I think you’d be great on it.’ He heard it and thought it was sick and said ‘Let’s do it!’ We actually just put the video out.”
With the reappearance of the aggressive sound, the band’s signature melodically sung choruses suffer no slump. Labonte’s finely tuned skills as a vocalist mix deep growling verses with lightly sung chorus to bring forth a new wave of classic metal tunes heavy metal fans can enjoy. With nine studio album the metalcore pioneers say there’s still more to come.
“Ya know man, you try to stay on the road as much as you can when you have a new record out." Labonte sums up. "Our record is about a year old now so this might be the last [leg of the tour]. We might stop at the end of the year to give us time to settle and then start working on a new record.”
All That Remains performs as part of the Disease Of The Anima Tour at 6 p.m., Tuesday, September 24 at White Oak Music Hall, 2915 N. Main, with Lacuna Coil, Bad Omens, Toothgrinder, Uncured, and Eximious. For more information, contact whiteoakmusichall.com or allthatremainsonline.com $31.50+
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.