With remarkable mediocrity, All That Remains return with their patented blend of small-government rock. From the blissfully average "Louder" to the unmemorable dirge of "Madness," it's clear that Phil Labonte and company have something generic to say about everyone. Thanks to the perfunctory production, All That Remains stand firmly rooted in the perfectly adequate.
Serviceable at best, Madness is politically apolitical, patronizing to its audience and steadfastly unchallenging. The band reach their nadir with a bloated, tepid cover of Garth Brooks's "The Thunder Rolls," treading the similarly bland territory of Disturbed. Similarly peaking early with the nearly-compelling Slipknot-lite of "Safe House" — a track as competently written as it is tacked on, a thinly veiled paean to the band's few remaining metal fans.
With Madness, the Springfield five-piece find themselves at their most competent. Aside from the occasional catchy chorus, All That Remains' most grievous offense is that they have crafted an album that is essentially a prosaic roar. And with nebulous lyrics, the band find themselves as dangerous as an aggressive shrug, opting for relatable middle class rage. While Madness is the clearly result of a lot of hard work, it is ultimately in service of an album that is both mechanical and archaic, indistinctly reminiscing about how important All That Remains never was. (Razor & Tie)