Release DetailsLABEL Stillborn
RELEASED ON 8/2/2004
The Autumn Offering
Revelations of the Unsung
posted on 9/2004 By:
While many of you will begin winging about the plethora of metalcore reviews that grace this site, the fact remains - the genre has exploded like the US death metal explosion of the early 90’s and with that saturation came a flood of terrible clones as well as a few elite bands. But when a genre explodes so quickly, amid the hordes of tiny label dwelling clones there are a few gems to be found; Hamartia, Prayer For Cleansing, All That Remains, As Hope Dies, Misery Signals and many others have risen above the masses that deliver derivative yet compelling examples of a genre many are sick of. I personally enjoy the genre and the bands that so perfectly execute it, regardless of originality. One such band is The Autumn Offering.
Residing on Jamey Jasta’s own label, I’m pretty sure he doesn’t sign shit, and The Autumn Offering along with A Thousand Falling Skies and With Honor deliver some of the genre's cream of the crop. For an immediate comparison, look no further than All That Remains (Phil Labonte and Matt Deis even makes guest appearance); Gothenburg metal with just a hint of US attitude, but with a focus of shredding tight riffs rather than tough guy machismo. Laden with melody and razor sharp thrash riffing, The Autumn Offering do occasionally succumb to the genre’s cookie cutter fundamentals (spoken/whispered word monologues, acoustic refrains, telegraphed breakdowns), but as a whole, the melodic intricacies and galloping dual assaults should please anyone not sucked into the scene’s needless backlash.
Admittedly there’s not too much original going on here, but that doesn't stop you from buying countless Morbid Angel clone CD’s does it? If it’s good, it’s good, no matter if unoriginal or not, and The Autumn Offering are pretty good. However, they aren’t very consistent, annoyingly so. The peaks and valleys of this album are noticeable, as one moment The Autumn Offering will deliver some of the best riffs in the genre I’ve heard in a while, then belt out some very mediocre, lifeless thrashing. Perfect example: The opening track “The Great Escape” is a lack luster Shadows Fall like thrasher with little character, but it is followed by one of the most epic opening salvoes I’ve heard in ages as “Revelation” explodes with deadly harmony. Luckily the better moments outnumber the OK ones, but they do stick out, especially when sandwiched between some stellar moments. The superb duo of “Homecoming” and “The Bonds Which we Break” (the track which made me investigate this band and eventually pick up the CD) make for an impressive run of tracks, when sandwiched between rudimentary and less creative tracks (but admittedly still somewhat enjoyable) “Doomed Generation” and the overly long “Shadows of Betrayal” (despite its nice acoustic intro).
The predictable vocal delivery that mixes Lindberg with Jasta is the album's only real detraction, but again when compared to death metal, how many vocal styles are there? The guitar work of George Moore and Matt Johnson is suitably crisp and tight, with far more emphasis on driving acidic melody, but you get the impression by album closer “Beginning’s End” they might have run out of ideas as a familiar gait starts the track, and the breakdowns littering the album are never quite as forceful as some of their peers. However, the track does show some brief soloing genius that’s sorely missing on the rest of the tracks.
Overall, a very respectable entry to a genre flooded with mediocrity and while The Autumn Offering are fighting a numbers battle, the Jasta name associated with the label bolstered by some quality material should allow them to rub elbows with the likes of Darkest Hour, As I Lay Dying and Dead To Fall.
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