Although the second album from All That Remains is a step up the evolutionary ladder, The Fall of Ideals
suggests that one of indie metal's most promising bands has reached a stalemate in terms of, well, ideas. Musically, the act has progressed nicely from the singular brashness found on its 2004 debut, This Darkened Heart
. Lyrically, the disc reads like a cryptic message from Batman's nemesis, the Riddler: You can tell the dude's pissed, but you haven't the faintest idea why. Take the song "Become the Catalyst," for instance, in which singer Phil Labonte (formerly of Shadows Fall), who is dependably opinionated in interviews, declares, "This burning passion, it fills me with desire/And drives me and drives my cause," yet the catalyst, as it were, is never defined. Labonte and company's growth as musicians is admirable, but without a defined ideology to go with their anger-infused melodies, thrashing is, unfortunately, all that remains.