At the time of writing this article, the only thing I could find was the song “No Knock”, the second track off the upcoming album and, well, I did manage to find few positive things to say about it, even though they don’t really instil much hope for the final product. One thing I couldn’t stand about the previous two outings was the audio quality, especially A War You Cannot Win. It seemed to just keep getting lighter, weaker, and far worse than the last. This one still isn’t too robust overall, but it doesn’t sound like if I sneeze I’ll somehow break the sound wave coming from the speakers. It also doesn’t sound like generic mainstream radio fodder with some kind of upbeat theme, presence, or overly produced Hardcore brotherhood.
Instead we are given a straight-out watered down Lamb of God knock-off circa Sacrament. And by watered down I’m talking bare bones. The vocals are fairly stable with a mid-range rougher approach that rarely has any additional range or energy and deeper grooves with decent at best breakdowns, all of which lack any sort of enthusiasm or complexity that might stick out in your head in a way that would last longer than a strip of Fruit Stripe gum. On top of that, the song itself just seems to end with very little warning. Despite being two minutes and forty-nine seconds long of Philip Labonte trying to act all tough and hardcore (which, by the way, fails miserably and comes off one hundred percent as some kind of front, especially considering his presence on previous albums, leading to the persona found on this very performance to be more like a mask placed frantically to hide some kind of insecurity in the skills that initially helped put All That Remains on the map possibly not being up to par or as beneficial as they once were), it seems to just go nowhere right from the start, only to realize it part of the way and say “to hell with it” and close up shop early.
Maybe this is some kind of introductory track to “Divide”, the next song on the album, but it’s just boring. An album of bad studio interference, wretched mastering, and non-stop radio fodder is bad enough in its own right, but if this particular strain of bland music makes up the whole of The Order of Things, an album title I despise as much as I did this track, I think I’d rather all the fake sell out garbage the band started spooning their fans. The first song you debut from your album is supposed to get fans excited and ready to pounce on your product at a moment’s notice, not put them to sleep with the most restrained and unoriginal groove-laced Metalcore you can possibly muster. If anything, this sounds like absolute fodder, and it’s the lead single off the album, not to mention the second track in. Usually filler material like this appears at least two-thirds of the way in, not within the first five minutes.
And that’s the point that cannot be stressed enough about “No Knock”. It’s a terrible choice that only paints the impending The Order of Things as a lackluster careless collection of compositions just slapped together. I could very well be wrong though. I mean, who knows, this could very well be the most awe-inspiring album the Metal world has ever seen heard since the rest is not yet available and the next single “This Probably Won’t End Well”, which is another mind-bogglingly lazy/generic title that pisses me off just as much, if not more than the album title (I haven’t decided yet), isn’t out yet either. So, for now, we’re stuck with what sounds like All That Remains declaring they are done giving a damn about trying to be original and becoming another group like Anthrax to just jump on the band wagon of what was recently popular and isn’t quite anymore, though at least Anthrax had the decency to do it right and give us some pretty kick ass tunes.
Now, before you jump down my throat about this article, I feel the need to conclude with the reasoning as to why this is as harsh as it is. Much like Carolus Rex by Sabaton, All That Remains‘ album The Fall of Ideals is one of those I will throw on when I’m at my lowest health-wise. This Darkened Heart had some good cuts too that I could come back to from time to time, such as “The Deepest Grey”, but it was the first half of that album which really would get me going. When I couldn’t walk from the disability I have and needed strength to keep going and not give up, that was one of those kinds of albums I literally would crawl to just to remind myself that I can power through anything this reoccurring crippling health complication can throw at me. So to see a band you’ve been a fan of for at least ten years that once had such powerful music that could literally pull you out of the darkest depths of your mind turn into this, well, it’s just downright insulting on so many levels.
But, that being said, even from a critical, non-biased stand point, this song still sucks…