“I think it is safe to say that All That Remains is a metalcore band," says Philip Labonte, All That Remains' singer. "We try to cover lots of ground, but do stuff that is still true to ourselves: we do solos because we like them; we do breakdowns because we like them; we have clean singing because we like it. We please ourselves first."
All That Remains are lucky. Some bands please themselves at the expense of a potential audience, while others strive to please an audience first and end up lamenting their own sound. In the case of this Massachusetts-based quintet, writing and performing their own brand of heavy music has taken them far and won them widespread acclaim.
This Darkened Heart, All That Remains' second album, showcases a kinetic sound drifting seamlessly between melody and relentless aggression. The additions of Mike Martin on guitar and Matt Deis on bass have tightened the unit and pushed them into more technically challenging material - their melodies capture our minds while their rhythms smash our bodies as if they were porcelain.
Produced by Adam Dutkiewicz (Killswitch Engage, From Autumn To Ashes, Norma Jean) at Zing Studios, This Darkened Heart is a dynamic testament to metal's ever-increasing diversity: acoustic passages and clean vocals intertwine with blast beats, screaming and all-out thrash assaults.
Labonte formed All That Remains in 1998 while still singing for Shadows Fall. After leaving Shadows Fall, he committed himself to All That Remains. The group played shows and recorded a demo, which landed them a deal with Prosthetic Records. The band's debut album, Behind Silence And Solitude, was released in March 2002, prompting DigitalMetal.com to hail the group as "one of the premier melodic death metal acts this side of the Atlantic."
Since the release of the first album, All That Remains have toured the United States three times, including tours with The Crown and Darkest Hour.
"We are pretty happy with what we have done so far, but we still have so far to go," says Labonte. "There are so many things that we all dreamed about when we were kids and started playing this music. The way heavy music is going now a lot of them can be achieved. So to get a record deal was a dream come true, to be able to put out more than one disc is a dream come true...We have gotten further than most bands who start out in the garage or the basement. But we haven't done anything close to what we believe we can achieve."
Formed by guitarist Oli Herbert and ex-Shadows Fall vocalist Phil Labonte in 1998, Massachusetts' All That Remains debuted in 2002 with Behind Silence and Solitude on Metal Blade. Rounded out by drummer Michael Bartlett, guitarist Chris Bartlett, and bassist Danny Egan, the record first showcased the band's blistering and heavy take on melodically infused hardcore death metal. All That Remains went through some lineup changes, and guitarist Mike Martin was added in for their 2004 breakthrough on Prosthetic Records, This Darkened Heart. Produced by Killswitch Engage's Adam Dutkiewicz and released to rave reviews, the record landed All That Remains on various shows and tours with the likes of GWAR, the Crown, Arch Enemy, Darkest Hour, and more. They continued touring nonstop behind Heart, taking a break only in late 2005 to begin writing new material for their third full-length. Working again with Dutkiewicz and Prosthetic, the band recorded The Fall of Ideals, which appeared in July 2006. By this time, the group was comprised of Labonte, Herbert, Martin, drummer Shannon Lucas, and bassist Jeanne Sagan. All That Remains hit the road once again, spending time on the European leg of the Sounds of the Underground tour and the summer's Ozzfest. Nationwide headlining dates were completed that fall.
[Via All Music Guide]
In Batman and countless other caped superhero movies, there's always a moment when our hero jumps from a plane or high building and uses the cape on his suit to fly safely to earth. Now a group of space engineering students at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology say they've got a working model of a real-life Batsuit. The main problem isn't flying, though. It's reducing the pain.
Students at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have designed a winged flight-suit that should, they claim, allow someone dropped from an airplane to glide on their own.
"We wanted to prove that such a suit could be designed, posing no risk to the wearer and having better performance than existing models," said Yair Segev, one of the suit's five developers who worked under the supervision of aeronautical and space engineering Prof. Gil Yossilbeski.
Knowing that such an "extreme sport" would require top physical fitness, they sent friends who were in good condition to a gym to get an idea of their physical limitations. "We discovered that some of the loads the wearer could experience were great enough to turn gliding from fun into torture," Segev said. "After defining the physical limitations of the flier, we built a simple aerodynamic model of a human in a light, winged suit."
They estimated the size of the wings and tail that would be necessary to ensure stability, as well as how strong they would have to be to stand up to the drag forces they had calculated.
They next tested a model in a wind tunnel, where they found that flying in a "Superman" position would be impossible due to drag. After about 100 trials, they refined their original design into what they believe to be the perfect model and fed the resulting data into a flight-simulator program.
"Using this, we tried to work out what a person dropped from a plane to fly in our suit would experience, and how much he would have to sweat to carry out simple maneuvers," Segev said.
They reached the conclusion that while only a professional pilot would be able to use the suit, he could go much farther with it than with conventional gliding suits.
The other students working on the project are Yoav Green, Yefim Yablochkin, Leon Mintz, Omer Ne'eman and Roman Levin.
Technion Students Design Batman Suit [via Jerusalem Post]
As far as gaming is concerned, most titles out there, AAA or not, usually involves some dark, gritty world full of grim and gloom, where through many twists, it falls upon you to save the world from certain end. Or something very similar like that. Dark and gritty does it, every time. People like dark and gritty- throw in some gore and violence, and it's a party.
Once in a while, though, you need something else. You need something light-hearted and kiddish to remind you of the good olden and golden innocent days where things like BAM and POW splashed onto your television screen. And fortunately for those who wants to go back in time a bit, LEGO Batman invokes exactly those feelings, without the annoying splashes of the BAMs and POWs, which honestly has a risk of incurring seizures. If you're east-Asian.
Gotham City in LEGO Batman is a sharp contrast to what you'd see in the animated cartoon series, or more specifically in the Batman movies. Bright, light and colorful, the game makes you feel like a kid again button mashing your way through the game like only a kid can, but, with enough tidbits to not make it monotonous.
Aside from playing through 15 missions with Batman and Robin, there's an extra feature, a huge one, where you get to play 'villain missions'. Needless to say, the villain missions are far more interesting than the actual missions, that is, the hero ones. I mean, what would you rather do? Beat up people? Or drive a car through a bank and fly a helicopter causing utter mayhem?
Don't be expecting too much awesome explosions, though. This is a game based on lego models, of course. So, if you're expecting special effects of the future, you'll be thoroughly disappointed. But, the game does marvelously with the lego-like graphics. Although, similar to the previous LEGO games, namely Indiana Jones and Star Wars, this Batman title has that extra 'umph', if you get my meaning. Maybe, because it's just Batman.
The game isn't based on any existing film or comics, rather uses the generic Arkham breakout, and it's upto Batman to stop the mad schemes brought up by the Riddler, Penguin and of course the Joker. There's zero dialogue- everything is told in grunts, and… weird voice-like noises. There's plenty of slapstick humor, which would be funny if you were ten years old, and otherwise just mildly amusing. That doesn't go against it, though. The title is, after all, intended for people of 10+ years.
To make gameplay interesting, you'll come upon various miscellaneous… things. Like suits, and vehicles. Batman and Robin both have a total of 5 costumes including their originals- costumes that grant them other abilities, like gliding and bombing for Batman, and ability to tinker with computers and machines, or walk on magnetic surfaces for Robins. Alternates to Batman and Robin are the characters Batgirl and Nightwing, respectively, who're able to use the same suits as their counterparts. Out of the fifteen missions available, three of them are played entirely on vehicles, one on air, one on sea, and one on land.
Let truth be told, LEGO Batman offers not a whole lot of new things to the LEGO games series. It's all very good and what not, taking you back to your childhood days, and so on, but for a regular gamer, this would feel like a cheap makeover. One would have to have NOT played the previous LEGO games if one wanted to derive adequate satisfaction from the game.
Regardless… it's not all bad. The point of the game is bashing buttons. But, it'd have been much better and greater if it held something different and innovative rather than a simple skin change.
Of course… It all may (or may not) be worth it to ride the roller-coaster… An otherwise 3/5 score for some mediocrities.