The Autumn Offering - Fear Will Cast No Shadow
Soon after hearing Autumn Offering's 2004 debut only last month, Fear Will Cast No Shadow ends up on my "must-hear" list, and then it magically pops up at my doorstep. Ain't it funny how life lives? So, what do we have here? For the uninitiated, TAO are a Daytona, FL-based metalcore band who live and die by the thrashiest of metal (while not actually being a thrash band, exactly). What they do manage, on their brand new release, is a clean grip on their own sound and place amongst metal's mainstream.
It's clear the additions of vocalist Matt McChesney and drummer Allen Royal have and will go a long way to making that happen. Matt's a hell of a talent who was severely underrated during his time with Hell Within and brings more dynamic than TAO have ever possessed at the spot before. Royal lives up to his name behind the kit, ruling over his kit like the pracicted professional he is. Their blend of southern undertones and thrashy tempos/riff patterns hasn't changed much, beyond the obvious; they've grown up a great deal. With time comes maturity and with that comes enhanced songwriting and instinct, details that shine through album highlights such as "The Castaway" (my personal favorite and, at #2, a quick indicator of the band's maturation), the Down-and-Doomy weight of "March of the Clones" and the melodic runs throughout "Silence and Goodbye".
The rest of the album's 11 tracks will leave you plenty satisfied, and I have to give the guys credit for finding a niche. As I read back on my review of Revelations of the Unsung, I can see that I gave this band less chance than they deserved. It's clear to me The Autumn Offering are breaking free from their independent metal roots and spreading their black wings towards brighter horizons.
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