From Autumn to Ashes may have lost its designated screamer, that doesn’t mean its new album –- Holding a Wolf by the Ears — lacks punch. On the contrary, the band is even more mature, more compelling, than it has been since it’s debut Too Bad You’re Beautiful.
To the bystander, FATA’s lead screaming is still as vibrant and its sound just as heavy as it ever was when Ben Perri vocally blazed the musical trail. But current lead singer Francis Mark’s vocal energy is throatier, less industrial than that used by Perri. Frankly, Mark’s vocals seem to meld even better with the heavy verses and somewhat pop-punk melodies found on this new CD. It creates a sold urgency and energy that some felt was lacking in other FATA offerings.
As fans know, Perri got the metaphoric boot from FATA for what other band members publicly said were his half-hearted musical efforts, which stalled the band’s success after their well-received debut. When he left the line up changed, for the better, many would say.
That’s not to say Perri-era music doesn’t have its fans. Far from it. The group’s first offering was hailed as no less than genius, creating great expectations for the band’s next offerings and its future. What can be said about those follow up albums? Some songs are loved. Some are reviled. Almost all agree that the musical offerings were uneven. Cast those thoughts aside – this CD is a new, heavy duty, cranked up with energy era FATA.
The CD is full of hurricane force energy found in a mature band that has more confidence and a certain comfort level playing together. Mark’s vocals draw you in and the pounding double bass keeps you hooked.
Just when you’re strapped in and enjoying the pounding heavy beat – and screaming – in “Deth Kult” on comes “On the Offense,” which is even more in your face with plenty of screaming throughout. “Delusions of Grandeur,” is, to me, one of the best songs on the album. The tune starts out poppy with great lyrics about and employs Mark’s frantic screams almost as a highlight to the story. Sort of like a dash of seasoning in an already hearty stew of music.
The band’s members said they are here to stay and have grown more complex.
Doubters need only listen to this disc for proof.