If Zao has taught us anything, it's that as long as the band name remains the same, metalcore groups can continue on forever. While the turnover in The Autumn Offering's line-up isn't as severe as the formers by any means; it seems as though each album still manages to bring new members along with it. Thus, former Hell Within vocalist Matt McChesney is the most noteworthy acquisition this time around.
However, despite a rich production and mixing job by Jason Suecof and a definite improvement over the bands past material, this won't be the album that pushes The Autumn Offering to headliner status. Even with instrumental chops on par with the likes of All That Remains and Shadows Fall (well sans the uber technical soloing), the songs are generally derailed by the lack of inner unity.
For you see it sounds a lot like the album was written and ready to go before McChesney fully committed to it and thus, his screams and melodies never seem to properly gel with the music. This leads not to songwriting that is necessarily sloppy, but rather disjointed. All the blazing leads and ferocious breakdowns that persevere long enough to leave a dent in the listeners skull are eventually outweighed by the moments where a clean melody kicks in and just feels oddly out of place or not entirely sure of itself.
The sad thing is, the ideas behind these parts are actually somewhat intriguing - if not rushed. Some bands are just forced to hit the studio too soon after a crucial line-up change and unfortunately that seems to be the case here. For the musicians involved sound as if they are still feeling each other out instead of ripping the listeners face off.
(2.5 / 5)