All That Remains’ ever-evolving sound and passionate live performance covers an incredible spread on the metal spectrum. The Springfield, Mass. quintet began their music journey as a hardcore metal act. Originating in 1998 with vocalist Phil Labonte and guitarist Oli Herbert, All That Remains started as a break-neck, full speed fearsome metal ensemble. Over the years, with the addition of drummer Jason Costa, bassist Jeanne Sagan and guitarist Mike Martin, All That Remains has evolved to suit a variety of tastes.
Morphing from a hardened heavy metal core into a more sonically diverse avenue, All That Remains (often referred to as ATR by fans) have opted to change with times. Their sixth studio album, A War You Cannot Win, was released in 2012 to some mixed reviews. The band changed things up on this album by incorporating more melodic metal style elements and hooks into the songs on the album. These elements are most prominently displayed in the poignant affects in”What If I Was Nothing” and “Asking Too Much.” The new incorporation of more mainstream friendly components doesn’t mean ATR threw in the hardcore towel. In a review of the album UltimateGuitar.com stated, “Memorable riffs, memorable choruses and well placed breakdowns make the album what it is.”
Although their music is often on the forefront of conversations about ATR, Labonte’s strong-held political views have also roused many discussions. On both Facebook and Twitter he has issued statements that have set the web on fire in both criticism and camaraderie. In part of an interview with Loudwire, Labonte responded to a question about his military experience and beliefs, “You can be pro-military and not be pro-imperialism.”
Labonte brings just as much passion to their live show as he does to his politics. In an impassioned spectacle of mesmerizing lights, high powered head-banging via Sagan and Herbert and emotive expressions, the band are visceral performers. The way they own the stage the audience can feel the energy emanating from them and excitement is mutual.
Herbert’s guitar solos resonate through the body. Labonte’s delivery is enthralling. Sagan, Costa and Martin all look like they’re having the time of their lives. Every piece of the puzzle comes together once the first notes play. Despite how disparate the elements may seem in the beginning, that is the beauty in an ATR performance- harmonious combustion with ardent precision and execution.
You can experience the power of ATR live by catching up with them on the road as they rip their way across the country- fighting the war and winning battles one audience at a time.