The Autumn Offering


Written by: BL on 06/08/2009 11:22:30

You know even being a strong fan of whatevercore for what seems like 5 years now, even this writer has limits on what can be taken in. And The Autumn Offering really had to step over that line with their new album "Requiem". A career that spans almost 10 years with 4 full lengths and you might wonder why this band hasn't cut out anything for itself. Well the problem was their last album "Fear Will Cast No Shadow" turned out to be so average and unremarkable that it's hard to remember almost anything from it. Having kept with this band since their first album "Revelations Of The Unsung" which again was also unremarkable save for one catchy single, one starts to think why since there wasn't a whole lot to like. After 11 new songs, things aren't exactly looking optimistic.

This album is about as forgettable, generic and really a skippable record as you get for the genre. A slurry of generic half baked heavy metal/metalcore riffs are strewn over every part of every song, the ones we've all heard before in about a thousand other records in the last few years. Tons of technically apt but so woefully dull guitar solos fill gaps just about everywhere till the point where there is no point anymore. The band claims that Requiem is "the band's most ambitious and dense material yet. Longer songs, complex rhythms, and dynamic vocals fill out this 11-track monster". Guitarists Matt Johnson and Tommy Church can certainly play, but ambitious? More like uninspired and predictable. Longer songs? barely since all the tracks still stay within 3-4 minutes, which is both good because going any longer would have been unbearable, and bad because they feel too long anyway.

Vocals are again courtesy of Matt McChesney who joined the band prior to the last record from Hell Within, a band which incidentally played this sort of music a whole lot better on their last 2007 album "Shadows Of Vanity" - but that was 2 years ago, which really reaffirms my view on why this sort of weary style is outdated. In any case McChesney has a sort of dirty clean vocal style you get with heavy metal bands like Soil, only imagine it softer and higher like Matt Tuck from Bullet For My Valentine (quite a sonic resemblance), mixed with some very weak and irritating growls which occasionally sounds like it has too much Flange/Chorus added on top (not sure why you'd want to do that anyway). His singing ranges from passable to really dull, made about 100 times more damning when just about every song on the album sports the same chorus or clean injection in between the heavy moments. The only exception is on "Light Of Day", the token instrumental on show which also incidentally is the only moderately memorable track purely for that it does not sound identical to the other 10 songs (which are SO alike).

This kind of metalcore (the more heavy metal orientated kind) really is in dying need of some fresh air in the current stale climate of skinny jeans, neon shoes and pig squealing scenesters, but this is not the album or band to deliver it unfortunately. Had this album come out 4-5 years ago maybe I wouldn't end up awarding this album a

Download: Narcoisis, Obsidian Halo (only if you must)
For the fans of: Bullet For My Valentine, In This Moment (old), Hell Within
Listen: Myspace

Release date 09.06.2009
Victory Records

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