Holding A Wolf By Ears review by From Autumn to Ashes

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  • Released: Apr 10, 2007
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 6
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 6.3 Neat
  • Users' score: 8.1 (61 votes)
From Autumn to Ashes: Holding A Wolf By Ears

Sound — 7
I always though it's weird when somebody shifts from playing drums to fronting the band. Usually they hide the most shy and humble people at the very end of the scene behind the drum kit (Tommy Lee doesn't count). It seems like New York post-hardcore band From Autumn To Ashes didn't have another choice after the lead vocalist Benjamin Perri have lost passion and quit. Here's their first attempt with a new singer -- former drummer Francis Mark. Holding a Wolf By Ears, out April 10th on Vagrant Records, is the band's fourth release and the last contracted for a record label, so the band's future depends on the attention it gets. Talking about the album, Mark says When you're holding a wolf by the ears, it's a dangerous situation and there is no way to escape without injury. That pretty much explains the approach the band took working on the record. As if pissed by the departure of the frontman and with an aim to assure people they are a new band now, FATA plays with a passion not heard from them for a long time. Holding a Wolf By Ears present more mature musicians with an increased level of difficulty of song and passages. But to the fans' relieve the band still produce the sound they've been famous for since 2000 -- blending two parts, sensitive melodic and rough hardcore. While the first one sounds almost emo, during the second you feel like at a war with guitars shooting out power chords like machine-guns. The two parts are usually strictly divided and the band kind of switches from one to another, not always doing it smooth. At times the melody features pop hooks, like the chorus of Daylight Slaving. The wall of distorted guitars together with fast pounding drums create the punishing intense of the songs. There's even occasional piano to add melody to the sound. The power force and the creative center of the band Francis Mark admits it's the first time in a while he's felt proud of himself. There's truly something to be proud of -- the band is a lot more diverse technically now than on any of their previous records.

Lyrics — 6
This is not Mark's debut as a lyricist, he wrote most of the lyrics to the previous album as well, when it turned out Perri couldn't produce a single line for the songs. This time the new-born vocalist had more time to work on lyrics and he's been diligently thinking out every line, thus the poetry appears to be more complete. Francis claims that going out and living inspires him to make music, which means Holding a Wolf By Ears is about life. You can tell it even by reading the tracks' titles -- Delusions Of Grandeur, A Goat In Sheep's Rosary or On The Offensive. Though the vocal parts are mostly presented in screamo, sometimes Mark is partly yelling-partly singing, which sounds more interesting. Before the release of the album a lot of fans have been wondering if Mark can scream. He can. And his screaming is not inferior to the ex-frontman, though sometimes it seems he's trying so hard, he can break his voice. To add more sincerity to the songs, Mark speaks in a serious voice during the most peaceful parts.

Overall Impression — 6
I would blame the production here as most songs sound a bit the same and don't go anywhere. Melodic choruses and choral church-like back vocals sometimes sound quite ridiculous along with aggressive verses. Or monotone nasal singing with screamo on the background as another example. From Autumn To Ashes have proved they can survive without Perri, they are still writing and recording, putting out singles and touring. But being honest, I don't see anything in their music that would greatly differ them from a thousand other hardcore bands. The question is -- do we need another band to add to the pile of CDs somewhere at the back of the closet?

35 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I dont really see why people think they're so emo, except for the singing sometimes, they seem to be between emo and metal, shall i say, emocore?
    I love how well thought out their music is.Every cd is original and great in their own ways Great job, this is why you are one of my favorite bands
    they are the ****ing best and yes im 14 yo i think their best album is "abandon your friends" but hey i havent heard their new album but im gettin it tomorrow
    your an idiot if you define a band to appeal to a particular age group. unless its nursery rhymes etc. which are obviously for babys
    i hated this cd i love this band bu thate this CD i thought they wuldnt exactly go to all screamo ****
    this CD is sooooo ****ing good,i personally like it more than anyother of their previous albums.
    I didn't exactly like these guys before, but I can't stop listening to this cd! Buy this album.
    finch 95-fo
    This band has completely lost what made them who they were. When I first heard Too Bad You're Beautiful like 5 years ago I thought this band was amazing. The Fiction We Live is awesome too, but they're losing their edge as well as their originality. This album isn't bad, and I give it to them for persevering, but they're no longer the same band.
    i don't really think this album is very emo. (style wise) its just hardcore kinda like underoath or chiodos
    I agree with AcrosstheTracks. TBYB was a phenomenal CD, regardless of 'emo'tion. FATA's style has definitely progressed to fit with the current trends of the music industry, but I think, regardless, if I ever met Mark, I would kiss the ground he walks on.
    If they get another good lead singer, I think they would stay on top.
    take it from me, i have every fata cd there is. It depends what side of their sound you prefer...but too bad you're beautiful is their first cd and is the most hardcore, and even ventures to the grind aspect is some areas. The fiction we live is their second and it's still very hardcore...but way better produced than tbyb. Abandon your friends is their third and this is where Ben Perri lost is. Resulting in a few hardcore songs.....but most just Fran singing. Still wonderful. Holding a wolf.....their best put together work....but it is different from past releases. But youre a fool not to love all four.
    Deffinatly thier best album in my opinion, if you look past all the scene labels, that people throw at them, they are really a technically, and musicly diverse group. A perfect blend of metal and melody. Stop labeling, and listen to the god-damned music.
    this CD is sooooo ****ing good,i personally like it more than anyother of their previous albums.
    Allyn Malicious
    I've been a FATA fan from there first cd TBYB.I think there a fantastic band.Without a Doubt though this is my least fav of there 4 cd's(The Fiction We Live being best to me).I dont mind Fran screaming but i would like more of him singing for the screaming gets a bit repetitive in my opinion.Still a very solid cd and ill continue to be a FATA fan till the day i die.
    from autumn to ashes are ****ing good i havent heard the new cd yet but im sure its good. i see a break up happening soon though
    Great band love all of their songs. The one thing that makes this a good band is their passion and angst you can feel in every one of their songs. You can actually feel the feelings they are having when you listen to their music. Not saying losing Ben was good or bad good for him for doing what he needed to do, they triumphed and made a badass album. Pushing a new sound and they made it work. I stand by them and all their albums.
    theyre a bit like hawthorne heights, but better, but unfortunately also more emo (if thats possible)
    ibanezguitarguy wrote: i think they kinda suck something a 14 year old would like
    You got me pegged, bro. if thats how they sell CDs, then theyre doing it right. don't mock 14 yr olds. we pretty much control the music business, believe it iff you will.
    this is an amazing album, totally, i like death kult social club and daylight slaving, class!
    jeowy wrote: theyre a bit like hawthorne heights, but better, but unfortunately also more emo (if thats possible)
    I'd listen to Too Bad You're Beautiful before you make that comparison. Anyway, on the new CD, I definatly like that they upped the ante on the energy. The guitar tones are also a ton better than they were on the last two CDs. I still feel TBYB is their best, and have a hard time imagining them writing any more songs like "Reflections" or "The Switch".
    MetalBassist93 wrote: pretty cool, but "The Fiction We Live" was still their best (in my opinion)
    i totally agree with you "The Fiction We Live" is still there best album but this album is still awesome
    I always though its weird when somebody shifts from playing drums to fronting the band. Usually they hide the most shy and humble people at the very end of the scene behind the drum kit (Tommy Lee doesnt count)
    *cough*And Dave Grohl*cough*
    and listen to the lyrics on abandon your friends...Fran writes of contempt and conforming to the music industry. He's a genius writer.