I’ve never really been a metal guy, but I do recognize All That Remains from Guitar Hero, so that’s something.
That being said, as an amateur guitar player, I definitely appreciate the guitar shredding aspect of metal music and when that collides with country music, I’m a happy camper.
A few years back, All That Remains took the Garth Brooks classic “The Thunder Rolls” and absolutely crushed it.
Originally written by Brooks and Pat Alger, it was first recorded by Tanya Tuckerin the late ’80s, and included that murderous fourth verse at the suggestion of her producer who wanted to take it to the next level.
However, her version was shelved and never released until 1995.
Garth decided to cut it and release it himself on 1991 album, No Fences, however, his producer suggested they drop the fourth verse (big mistake).
It went on to become a monster hit for him and in the liner notes of his The Hits album, Garth praised co-writer Pat Alger, who also played on the record:
“There is no doubt that the toughest song in the GB catalog has to be ‘The Thunder Rolls’. This song came out fighting the day it was released. Originally cut by Tanya Tucker in 1988, it was never put on an album.
It came back to us in time for ‘No Fences.’ My hat’s off to Pat Alger, a great writer and friend, and to music itself, because only music could withstand what this song has gone through.”
And then, Massachusetts metal band All That Remains took a stab at the country murder ballad (no pun intended) for their 2017 album, Madness, and they knocked it out of the park.
Like I said, I’m not the biggest metal fan, but there’s something about the thunder, and infidelity, and the murder, and even that D-minor key that just works with metal.
All That Remains frontman Phil Labonte said the cover was all about reaching new people:
“We’re continuing to push what people’s notion of what All That Remains is and what we’re allowed to do and what we’re willing to do, in what ways we’re willing to go and experiment.
So far the reaction has been really cool. It’s also kind of what I expected; Our core audience likes a lot of diverse styles of music and gets it, and I think there’s enough stuff on it for people that haven’t heard All That Remains before to be kind of lured in.
That’s always our point… how can we reach out to new people?”
And for their video, he also adds that they wanted to stay true to the original message of the song, without copying the cheating storyline of the original Garth Brooks video:
“We didn’t want to seem like we’re trying to step on the toes of the original (video) but at the same time we weren’t trying to change the message of the song. I felt like something less specific would work best.”