Customer Reviews: Behind Silence & Solitude
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on June 21, 2005
The reason this band sounds like Shadows Fall is because the lead singer, Phil Labonte, happens to be the former lead singer of Shadows Fall. The reason this band reminds you of Killswitch Engage is because they have the same producer,Adam Dutkiewicz. Now, as for insulting the musical content of All That Remains, you underestimate very heavily the skills of Ollie Herbert as a guitarist, who is on par, in comparison of musical knowledge and skill repertoire, with people like Buckethead and Paul Gilbert. Before you decide to vent your own frustrations with what you ineptly dub nu metal, get your facts straight. Nu metal was the crunch bands who were allowed only to be puppets of corporations, no solos, no real guitar work, just lots of chugging rhythms, dumb, violent lyrics and a saleable image. Of those bands, only Slipknot stepped out of the shadow of their record label, finally, on the Subliminal Verses, which is still very polished and mainstream. And you're right, Killswitch Engage may have existed before All That Remains, but I have a feeling Ollie Herbert has been trying to make a name for himself with his guitar skills for quite some years, and finally found a band to do it with, when All That Remains formed in 1998, with Phil Labonte still singing with Shadows Fall, as well. For reference, I suggest you listen to Ollie's Betcha' Can't Play This from Guitar World (someone help me with the month. '04), and take note of what he says about the riff's construction. He is much more musically grounded than people who go on stage knowing what it sounds like only after they play it. Also, before you make vociferous, snap judgments about bands, only hearing what Amazon offers you through their fish-tanked sound clips, which make almost every metal band indistinguishable from another, I suggest you go out and buy a record other than Killswitch Engage, who you seem to be enamored with, worshipping them as the gods of all things metal. You may want to start with Frank Zappa's "Them or Us," Steve Vai's "Passion and Warfare," or Death's "Human." As for legitimacy, All That Remains is a gem of a find in a minefield of metal that can be zombifying in its similarity. The only thing that justifies their label as a hardcore band is Phil Labonte's singing and reputation.

Speeding on in harmonic minor and diminished fury,

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on August 16, 2002
All that initially remained for Philip LaBonte after his departure from the fledging Shadows Fall was to reroute his emotional outlook to a new, more focused brutal effort. The end result was a creature so fierce that it rises to the forefront beyond the personal, internal barriers of silence and solitude demanding the attention and respect it rightfully deserves.
The debut effort from New England's All that Remains was more than three years in the making when the demos finally found the light of day through metal's up-and-coming A&R source, Prosthetic Records. Tapping equal parts Scandinavian melodic death metal, American progressive thrash and the N.E. sceene's stomp influenced hardcore, All That Remains took the best of all worlds in heavy music to create a debut effort so powerful
that it is hard to overlook.
Take note, All That Remains are more than a spin-off from an already successful entity, nor rip-off artists of a new-metal sytle, the quintet tred on a metallic musical source all their
own, combining soaring harmonized guitar lines with over-the-top stylistic solos for a foundation of Philip's militaristic, barking vocals to create their own variation of the new school of American metal.
The eight tracks on the debut full-length are a long overdue in making their impact on the metal world, but anything less than feeling dated despite the time between their creation and release or anything more than a glorified demo version of the potential brilliance yet to come.
The hints of dynamics that lie within ATR's musical preview are enough to whet the whistle of fans stilling longing for the long lost, fist-in-the-air, adrenaline fueled, moshable days of American thrash while still leaving the door of the imagination open to what is still yet to come from Phil and company.
By no means can one ignore the musicality encompassed at Behind Silence... as the vocal bark sets up the breakdowns with a berating beauty and the twin lead guitars sonic slaughter is
So climb above the silence to the musical solitude of the North East's latest offering and find out why all that remains once you find the height of the musical mountain is Massachusetts' All That Remains.
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on December 12, 2007
This is the rerelease of the debut album by ATR. It presents them in there raw form. It doesnt necessarily sound like ATR but it is still an awesome cd to complete your collection. There are mind blowing riffs and growls that are sure to bring a smile to anyones face.
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on December 29, 2012
Looking back, this doesn't really "feel" like an All That Remains album, with how much their style has evolved and grown over the years. As a relatively new (but dedicated) fan, I was initially put off by this; even when compared to "This Darkened Heart" and "The Fall of Ideals," "Behind Silence and Solitude" didn't really feel like it had the All That Remains sound that makes them stand out among the crowd.

But if you're like me, I encourage you to take a second look.

"Behind Silence and Solitude" is a great record; Phil's vocals here are more raw than they've been ever since, at no point is he ever holding back or trying to fancy it up. There are no clean vocals to be found, and that contributes to the powerful, aggressive feel that every single song on this record has.

The lyrics are as great as ever; poetic, thought provoking and a bit pissed off, but with that sense of absolution that makes All That Remains' lyrics special. The subject matter is much less political/controversial as on later records, focused more on internal pain/struggle and personal experience.

Musically, it perfectly blends brutality and complexity. In particular, I was enticed by the intro to the song "Erase," which has a sort of slow and ominous instrumental build up you wouldn't typically expect from All That Remains; it actually called Metallica to mind, and it was a pleasant surprise right in the middle of the album, at the point where things almost began to feel redundant, offering a nice change of pace.

One thing worthy of note is that the songs here are longer than on any ATR record since, and the musical interludes significant. The length of the songs helps to make up for the shorter track listing, at only 8 songs.

Speaking of the songs, let's address each of them individually:

First is the title track, "Behind Silence and Solitude." A fast-paced and aggressive song with great lyrics that hit home and are genuinely thought provoking... but what hurts the song, in my opinion, is Phil's vocal pacing. Its likely just personal preference, but I'm not extremely fond of his delivery on that particular track. 4/5

The second track, "From These Wounds," is easily my favorite song on the record. An intense and truly beautiful song about the pain of guilt, and the struggle for redemption. Musically solid, with excellent vocals from Phil and lyrics that are incredibly poetic, "From These Wounds" gets a 5/5

Next is "Follow," a great song about the simple act of dedicating ones self to another. Brimming with anger but weighed down with a sense of solemn devotion, Follow is a fantastic song, and the instrumentals, while nothing mind-blowing, are great. The musical interlude at the end is definitely my favorite part of the song, and delivers an almost cathartic sense of completion to the track. 4.5/5

The fourth track, "Clarity," has an absolutely fantastic musical interlude that stretches the majority of the song's run time. But the problem here is that vocals actually seem to detract from the song. You get the impression that the vocals were tacked on to fill space at the beginning and end of what is otherwise a great instrumental. 3.5/5

The next track, "Erase," as I mentioned above, comes in as a saving grace just when when the record begins to feel redundant. Leading in with an ominous, slowly building musical piece that, 2 minutes and 4 seconds into the song's almost 7 minute run, explodes into an intense and enrapturing vocal delivery complimented by amazing lyrics. I know I've used this term a lot in this review, but the lyricism here is truly thought provoking; "Erase" hits you with the screams of man questioning whether or not God exists, and pleading for his help if he does. he second longest song on the record, "Erase" is, in my opinion, tied with "From These Wounds" as the high point of "Behind Silence and Solitude." 5/5

The sixth track, "Shading," doesn't offer anything particularly unique, but does all the "normal" traits perfectly. Incredible vocal delivery complimented by brutal yet complex music, "Shading" feels the most like a more modern ATR track, compared to everything else on the record. 4/5

"Home To Me," the seventh track on the album, is also the longest. with a run time nearing seven minutes. And for that entire run, it delivers on all fronts. A fantastic musical intro leading to an aggressive but well-paced delivery of the song's painstakingly honest lyrics, about a bad relationship that one simply cannot seem to leave behind. When you look at them lyrically, this song almost feels like its written from the perspective of the other person in "Follow," so much so that the songs, when listened to back to back, seem like a conversation between two people with opposing views on the same situation. 5/5

The final track, "One Belief," is a fitting crescendo to the record, taking all of the elements presented beforehand and driving them to perfection. The song's only downfall is the feel of redundancy, bringing nothing unique to the table to make it its own. 4/5

Overall Score: 35/40

In conclusion, "Behind Silence and Solitude" is a fantastic debut album, both on its own and as a prelude to the career that would follow All That Remains through their stylistic growth. This is All That Remains at its core; the foundation on which the band grew and evolved from, and still matches up to par with many of their more recent ventures. I certainly recommend it for both old and new fans alike.
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on July 7, 2016
I LOVE All That Remains. I think they're an excellent metal band. Sure this album isn't as powerful as their follow up albums, but come on. You HAVE to have the debut album from your favorite bands and singers so your collection is complete. That's why I'm giving this album 4/5 stars because simply it's the one that started it all for the band. I still think it's a decent album. Sure it's worth having, but I do agree on some levels that it's not that great, but it is entertaining. As I said in the first sentence of this review, I LOVE All That Remains and I always will support them even for decades to come and also even if they do break up one day, which I hope not. So yes, if you haven't listened to this, give it a listen but it's not as great as their follow up albums.
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on February 3, 2013
This album doesn't sound like the ATR of today. This is a straight up death metal album -and a great one at that. All the songs are really good, and well worth a buy if you're into the real hard stuff.
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on September 19, 2013
As a long time "All That Remains" fan, I always enjoy revisiting this classic release. I've enjoyed the band's music, over the years, in just about every incarnation (from melodeath to alternative metal) but can't deny the fact that this early style shows off the deepest and most technical of the band's catalogue (next to Fall of Ideals.) If you like gothic riffs, catchy melodies and thrashy song structures, this album will satisfy you as it does me!
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on October 29, 2012
Frontman Phil Lebonte, after getting fired from Shadows Fall, started his own band, which seemed to pick up where he left off in his other band (at least at first). All That Remains' 2002 debut, "Behind Silence And Solitude," is much like the Shads' 1997 debut ("Somber Eyes To The Sky") in that it, unlike anything released later on in the band's career, is a surprisingly brutal grindcore album more than anything else. Indeed, "Behind" is metalcore only in attitude; and its neck-snapping tempos, amelodic, throat-scraping vocals, and overall sonic heaviness practically scream influence from Nineties grindcore (i.e. Brutal Truth, Nineties-era Napalm Death, etc.)

Of course, one must not forget to mention that the album does have some melodic death metal leanings. All That Remains' guitarists Chris Bartlett and Oli Herbert intact some deliciously clean, twin-guitar melodic leads and solos throughout these eight songs, thus evoking vintage In Flames (and, subsequently, Iron Maiden). And finally, with tempos this fast, it is a no-brainer that thrash metal (think Pantera, Sepultura, etc.) is also a huge influence, here, too. The end result is, again, an astonishingly blistering, again brutal, and extremely potent record.

The album opens with the title track, a breakneck attack of blistering riffs, ripping solos, rapid-fire blast beats, grumbling bass, and brutal, visceral bellowing. "From These Wounds" is another ripper with deft, thundering drums and lumbering, made-for-headbanging guitars, that also retains a surprising amount of tunefulness, as tastefully harmonic leads and a batch of gorgeous, wailing melodic solos both enter the mix. Despite boasting another lengthy, winding melodic solo section, "Follow" plays mostly like a full-on hardcore bruiser, as the guitarists' abrasively chunky, chugging riffs grind away while Lebonte barks out traditional hardcore vocals. All That Remains pull back on the reigns a bit for "Clarity," though, as it is a concertedly restrained and mid-tempo chugger that has a wealth of blistering, jazzy-sounding solos.

A nice, calm, melodic guitar introduces the next song, "Erase," before the heavy guitars come blazing in (a la Zakk Wylde), thus morphing the number into another bullying attack of chunky rhythms and tight, blasting drums. A really catchy and memorable chorus, deep, adherent groove, and round of blazing solos are also included, here. "Shading" blazes straightforward, plowing you over with its crunching, machine gun riffs and blistering solos. The tune is mostly of note, though, for its jazzy-flavored breakdown, which has interesting bass lines and classical-sounding guitar solo. Then, following the mid-tempo grind and delicious melodic licks of "Home To Me," comes the set closer, "One Belief," which boasts a really catchy, swinging groove, and still more wonderfully wailing, melodic soloing.

"Behind Silence And Solitude" is easily one of the best and most essential debuts of the 2000's, and it may very well take the cake for being the most unexpectedly pleasant surprise of the whole decade. Regardless, the following one thing is for certain: It is a excellent, promising debut, a very strong and memorable effort, and one that the band, sadly, seems less-and-less likely of topping -- or even matching -- with each and every passing year.
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on April 23, 2002
An absolutely amazing CD. This defies the laws of much of today's music. The guitar work on this CD leaves you on your knees, mouth dripping saliva, begging God to send down more All That Remains tracks! The Singer really brings this CD to the brink of godly, his vocals and lyrics depict the kind of things you wouldn't expect from a dark metal style sounding band, and it gives it more of an edge to a Hardcore style with dark metal influences. All this does is BROADEN the fan base, where both Cradle of Filth listeners and Vision of Disorder listeners become infatuated with this CD. I think this is one of the best CD's I own and everywhere I go I tell my friends and people I know to buy it, because its just a simply amazing debut. If I don't see these guys more popular than bands like Children of Bodom, and In Flames, then I might kill myself. To the band if they ever read this; You guys rip it up, I hope to see you live real soon, come to my hometown (Burlington, Vermont, USA) as soon as you get a chance!!
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on October 12, 2004
This is a very good album. I almost wish I had heard this before "This Darkened Heart". This album has a more raw feel to it. Less production trying to clean up the sound, which I like. I think both albums are great, but TDH sounds almost like they blended with Killswitch Engage (makes sense, seeing as how TDH was recorded and produced by Killswitch's guitarist, who also produces KE's stuff). This album definately has a more old school metal/grindcore feel to it. Either way I feel ATR is one of the best newer metal bands out there.
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