A return to form and fitting last release for Oli Herbert
It seems somewhat in poor taste to review an album when the artist has recently died, therefore this review won’t have a number rating and will be rather more general than usual.
All That Remains seemed to lose their way for their last three albums, A War You Cannot Win, The Order of Things and Madness as they moved away from their established sound and experimented a little with perhaps less than stellar results. While the albums were a progression of their sound and made sense, thankfully Victim of the New Disease is a return to form for All That Remains and will please fans of the band who had become disenchanted.
Victim of the New Disease seems to draw its inspiration from singer Phil Labonte’s divorce which creates an emotional listening experience and some of their darkest lyrics yet. Songs like Everything’s Wrong, Misery in Me and Alone in the Darkness are from the heart and could be mistaken for being really good Stone Sour tracks in that they are somewhat radio friendly while the rest of the album is very heavy. Fuck Love is a short sharp bit of aggression that opens the album and will likely be met well live; it was intended to be the name of the album but the label said no which is a relief considering the circumstances.
Obviously we have to address the elephant in the room of Oli Herbert and Victim of the New Disease features some great guitar work from him, some of his very best. The timing of this album is bittersweet but also fitting as his fans get new music so soon after his loss and it’s an album that he could be proud of to leave as his last recorded work. There are songs that were recorded and not used so we can expect those to be released at some point but Victim of the New Disease is a beautiful album and the perfect sendoff for Oli Herbert.
Metal Report Editor.
Ex guitarist in Zenopede, ex vocals for a goth covers band that was hailed as the future of Welsh music, former DJ, promoter and nightclub director. Writer for Gear4Geeks’ Blog4Geeks and owner of Gear4Geeks ltd. First published music critique was Kerrang letter of the Week.
Definitely has never been the future, present or past of Welsh music.