Given the world’s unpredictability, survival requires reaction. With so many factors beyond our control, the focus of life often becomes about how we respond to these outside forces. The same can be said for music. Regardless of how trends ebb and flow, artists must react appropriately in order to thrive and survive. Since 1998, All That Remains continue to progress, while clenching steadfast to the principals that etched their place at the forefront of 21st century hard rock. On their seventh full-length album, The Order of Things [Razor & Tie], the Massachusetts outfit—Phil Labonte [vocals], Oli Herbert [guitar], Mike Martin [guitar], Jeanne Sagan [bass], and Jason Costa [drums]—preserve an ethos of evolution.
“You have to adapt to the world around you as opposed to expecting everything to adapt to your perspective,” claims Labonte. “You can’t really control what goes on in your life, you can only control your reaction. I’ve gotten a certain amount of peace from embracing this truth. That’s the way things go. This is literally The Order of Things.”
It’s been quite a ride for All That Remains. The group reached another landmark with 2012’s A War You Cannot Win. It debuted at #13 on the Billboard Top 200 and yielded two hit singles. “Stand Up” ascended to #1 at Active Rock radio, a first for the band, while “What If I Was Nothing” landed at #2. The group hit the road for sold out shows alongside Volbeat and In This Moment in between incendiary festival appearances at Rock on the Range, Welcome to Rockville, Rocklahoma, and more. It would’ve been easy to simply repeat themselves creatively. However, they decided to bulldoze a new path for The Order of Things.
For the first time, the band tapped Josh Wilbur [Lamb of God, Gojira] for production, cutting the bulk of the record in Massachusetts and fine-tuning vocals in Los Angeles. After four albums with Killswitch Engage’s Adam D behind the board, Wilbur offered not just a breath, but a gust of fresh air.
“It was a good time to try something different with someone new,” affirms Mike. “It was helpful to have a completely new perspective. We had a crazy chemistry working together right away. He made a gigantic difference across the board. I’d love to do more records with him.”
“It was a massive benefit,” Phil agrees. “We didn’t have any expectations about what we were supposed to do other than write quality music. Moreover, Josh brought his own angle on what All That Remains sounds like and could sound like. It’s a mixture of these two elements. That’s what this record is.”
As a result, the group burst out of the gate with their heads held high once more. Commencing with an entrancing piano intro, album opener “This Probably Won’t End Well” tempers an arena-ready beat with an unshakable riff just before Labonte delivers a soaring refrain.
“It just seemed like the obvious opening track,” says Labonte. “The piano bookends the album, and it just fell into place. It’s a strong song, and it flows. The subject matter is self-explanatory and really honest. It’s all in there.”
The infectious “Divide”sees Labonte and Sagan’s voices entwine in a hypnotic harmony, but not before “No Knock” unleashes a brutal and bludgeoning stomp punctuated by searing guitars and the singer’s unmistakable growl. “In our entire history as a band, this is the first time I ever swore on a song,” Labonte chuckles. “I dropped the F-bomb twice, and the track needed that. I’ve never been the kind of guy who throws swears in to fill syllables. It fit the vibe for ‘No Knock’ though. I had to do it.”
“It came together by accident like some of the coolest things we’ve done,” Mike goes on. “We can do anything in this band. Whether it’s a ballad or brutality, it fits within who we are.”
At the same time, “For You” delivers one of the band’s most poignant, potent, and poetic hooks. Augmented by acoustic guitars and a bombastic energy, it’s yet another side of All That Remains. “That’s a personal song,” adds Phil. “It’s pretty straightforward. We were thinking of it a little differently.”
Jeanne’s voice adds another dimension to The Order of Things standouts like “Bite My Tongue.” “We didn’t even know she could sing like that,” admits Mike. “Josh made her comfortable enough to try it, and she delivered. It makes for something very special.”
After the hyper-charged thrashing of “Tru-Kvlt-Metal,” everything ends where it began with a piano during “Criticism and Self-Realization.” It creates a cohesive journey from beginning to end that beckons full attention.
Those dynamics have defined All That Remains since day one. It’s why they’ve not only persevered while the musical landscape morphed and changed, but also why they’ve become veritable hard rock leaders, shaping the scene and then skyrocketing past its confines. Their worldwide album sales exceed over one million, while track sales surpass 1.5 million. Their position at the top of Active Rock radio remains indisputable with six singles going Top 10 at the format, three of which went Top 5 or higher. However, All That Remains continue reacting at every turn, igniting a personal revolution in the process.
“There’s something for everybody,” concludes Mike. “It’s just about writing solid songs. It’s our philosophy and approach.”
“To be flat out honest, all I want is for people to walk away from our shows or records feeling better,” Phil leaves off. “If they’re bummed out, they come to a show, and they leave feeling good, that’s great. I hope someone hears a song and feels even better than they did before it started. That’s who we are.”