The Autumn Offering
Fear Will Cast No Shadow

So here is the third and worst recent ‘metal’ release from Victory. A few years back I reviewed the promising Stillborn Records debut from this then metalcore act, but then with Embrace the Gutter, it was obvious the band wanted to be lumped in with All That Remains, Diecast, God Forbid and Lamb of God in the pantheons of American metal. Well now apparently with the addition of former Hell Within vocalist and his very frequently used clean croons, The Autumn Offering want to me more like Avenged Sevenfold.

Admittedly, the first 30 or so seconds of opener “From Atrophy to Obsession” hints at a pretty damn stout opening track with some gorgeous guitar licks (that make a couple of appearances in the albums later stages) that show the guitarists Tommy Church and Matt Johnson have the chops to match the likes of the Coyle brothers (God Forbid) or Oli Hebert (All That Remains), but the music is hamstrung by material that’s poppy, commercial, radio metal that’s a neutered form of the bands they want to be.

The main culprit seems to be McChesney, who while has a solid Phil Labonte like screech for some of the time like on parts of “The Castaway”, “Crown Yourself King, Kill Yourself a Queen” and “All That Falls Around Us” but litters those the tracks with predictable clean choruses, but Howard Jones (Killswitch Engage) he is not. Even more so, he makes tracks like “Silence and Goodbye”, “A Great Distance” and “March of the Clones” come across as horribly tepid sugary, and mainstream efforts made for no more than Hot Topic consumption and those tracks are where the legitimate Avenged Sevenfold comparison comes in.

The thing is as I mentioned, brief flourishes of guitar based excellence peek out from the overly poppy commercial-core once in a while (i.e. “Your Time is Mine”, “Fear Will Cast No Shadow”, “The Wolves at Your Door”), making for album that has some merits and moments of enjoyment, but they get bullied back in place by the soupy, wimpy choruses. And its not that I have issue with clean vocals Labonte (All That Remains) and Phil Stoddard (Diecast) have excellent clean vocals in the genre, it’s just here McChesney’s choruses are overused and pure pop/rock drivel.

Ultimately, Fear Will Cast No Shadow might move some units for Victory, but I think real metal fans will see right through this commercial, money driven façade of an album and simply keep listening to the bands that The Autumn Offering want to be. Still, at least next year I have With Blood Comes Cleansing and Carnifex to look forward too.

Oh and PS- On a personal note, Mr. McChesney-if you want to threaten to put me in the ER for merely stating my opinion, like you did with the reviewer at another site, here’s a word to the wise; think again before you make such an idle threat at me. Seriously. If you cant take criticism like a man, you are in the wrong business.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
December 18th, 2007

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