ALBUM: Death Remains – Stand.Fight.Believe

Release Date: November 4th, 2013
Label: In At The Deep End Records
Website: None available


Although a recent groundswell of fresh faced ankle biters have emerged of late to remind us how metalcore done right can still be a potent brew of muscle and melody, this far gone it’s certainly fair to say it’s nigh on impossible to bring anything particularly new to the table. Lack of invention is one thing, yet avoiding the ever hungry pit of stagnation need not to be a thankless pursuit, as the red hot exuberance of the new school ultimately shows us. Lamentably, London based quintet Death Remains seem to sit somewhere rather closer towards the hackneyed camp of rising aspirants.

When on point, there’s certainly enough to be enthused about with ‘Stand.Fight.Believe’. Tracks such as opener ‘Work Sleep Repeat’ display a triumphant melodic know how, the hooks not only toweringly infectious but an indictment of frontman Barry O’Connor palpable ability. Coupling this with some undeniably heavy weight instrumentation (‘Martyrs Dream’) and a bullish pugnacity (‘A Cold Farewell’), we could be forgiven for assuming a record furnished with all the metallic hallmarks of a perfectly serviceable release.

Regrettably, however, Death Remains all too often seems content with reveling in clichés and something of a vanilla blueprint. Leaden fretwork and perfunctory tempo shifts abound as we lurch from cookie cutter, At The Gates fleecing riffs and stagnant breakdowns, and it becomes unfortunately apparent that for every solitary chorus refrain that manages to cut the mustard, there’s another approaching quickly from behind which is unforgivably listless.

‘Stand.Fight.Believe’ is something of a frustrating experience as, when treated to glimpses of ability, the potential is remarkable. The prevailing issue is that Death Remains fail to exert themselves fully; neither bloodthirsty enough to stand toe-to-toe with the heaviest of their ilk, nor with the consistent melodic clout of many of their peers, a lack of surging intensity sees them bested by a current crop of metalcore competitors which represent an avalanche of capability and ambition. A sophomore release more persistent in quality is needed if these hopefuls aren’t to be trampled by the stampeding elite.

Written by Tony Bliss