Review Summary: With Matt McChesney on board, this band is about to make it big.
Progression can come in many forms. It may come from wanting the sound you have always wanted. It may come with losing your vocalist. However, in the case of The Autumn Offering, it has come from a combination of both. In 2004, and later re-released On Victory Records in 2006, Revelations of the Unsung was released on Stillborn Records. Dennis Miller and the band showed great potential on this album and were set to release their major label Debut on Victory. So on May 16th, 2006 they released Embrace the Gutter. During the promoting of the album they started their slogan of “White Trash F*cking Thrash.” In regards to the music, there was more clean vocals, more solos, and a thrash vibe and sound to it. However, Embrace the Gutter was not well received by fans of Revelations of The Unsung, who wanted that gritty vocal performance. Fast-forward to March 2007 when it was announced that Dennis Miller had left the band. In June, it was announced that Matt McChesney, formally of Hell Within, would be taking over the vocal duties. The band also had a new drummer in Allen Royal.
October 30th has rolled around and it is Pre-Halloween, it is time to scare up this album and see what it has to offer. Will Matt take this band to new heights? Will their sound change again or keep within the workings of Embrace the Gutter? Will anybody actually give this a listen with it being released by a Victory Records that has been rapidly gaining more and more hatred for the past couple of years? This are all the questions going into the release of Fear Will Cast No Shadow
. Let us see if Florida has another champion or another 2007 Miami Dolphins.
Being formally from Hell Within, Matt has had experience in being in a band so he knew what he need to do and went straight to work. He has always had a great range, see Hell Within’s two albums, and he is not shy to use his range on this record. Right to start with you get a screen into a clean scream/sing. Your first taste of Matt’s growls are on The Castaway
which leads to the good clean singing of the chorus. Matt’s range has improved this band tenfold and has really helped them progress from a monotone Dennis growling band to a fresh rangy metal band. This is best seen on Silence and Goodbye
where Dennis would probably growl throughout this song and destroy the feeling Matt sings though most of it and sets the mood perfect. Silence and Goodbye
also shows the band using some vocal effects to freshen up the songs and not sound like every other band out there. The vocal standout is the title track, it really has the intensity you want while not being overpowering or boring after a while. It is the followed by a great emotional vocal filled track in March of the Clones
. This band will go a long way if Matt stays on board and continues with this path.
Tommy Church and Matt Johnson are still handling the guitar duties while Sean Robbins is on bass. Frankly, like every other metal band around, you cannot hear the bass nine times out of ten. The opening guitar lead on From Atrophy To Obsession
starts off the record with great momentum. The riff then leads a good solo that fits the song. Speaking of riffs, Tommy and Matt are great and writing riffs and that aspect can be found over the whole record. On this record though, Tommy and Matt J. show that they also know how to write good to great solos. Given them another year or two and they will be the complete package and guild this band to a bigger, better label, like Roadrunner or Century Media. What I’m really impressed with this album is the quality of the intros that appear on the songs(see: A Great Distance
). They really show some skill being put to good use. One of the best solos on the album is found on Fear Will Cast No Shadow
but it ends too quickly for my liking. Tommy and Matt J. have continued to improve their playing and it shows on this album.
Allen Royal is the band’s third drummer. This is an average of one drummer per album, which is not good. Allen really shows that he knows what he’s doing on The Castaway
. I’ve noticed that Allen hardly ever uses cymbals in his drumming. You can only slightly hear them on Crown Yourself A King, Kill Yourself A Queen
. A great intertwined intro of guitars and drums is found on Silence and Goodbye
with Drums being the major, and best, part of it. For the most part, Allen just holds down the front and does nothing out of the ordinary. One thing I’m pleased with is that Allen doesn’t over use the bass pedals, Your Time Is Mine
. Allen is a good drummer and he can hold down the front. Here is hoping that Allen stays on and they can have a steady drummer.
With Matt McChesney as vocalist, this band will be able to breakout of the current scene and sound fresh. It also helps that Tommy and Matt J. have continued to improve and become the best they can be. They keep with a similar sound found on Embrace the Gutter but mold it to fit Matt’s style and have finally found that sound that will set them apart. This should spark some interest and hopefully some enticing record deals to get them off Victory Records.