From Autumn to Ashes - Holding a Wolf by the Ears (Cover Artwork)

From Autumn to Ashes

Holding a Wolf by the Ears (2007)


Henry Rollins once stated that he religiously listens to Slayer because it seems as if the band has been frozen in time between albums, therefore keeping their consistently heavy sound. He continues to say that Slayer does not progress (meaning suck) and continues to bludgeon listeners album after album. While From Autumn to Ashes doesn't necessarily garner such a legendary status, they continue to create ground-stomping music.

Their new album Holding a Wolf by the Ears is not a drastic change from the rest of From Autumn to Ashes' discography. Although the throaty Ben Perri ditched the band and left them in a gaping predicament, FATA have remedied the situation wholly. Drummer/vocalist Francis Mark has taken over lead vocal duties and replaced the growl with a frail screech. Other than that, the music has not changed. From Autumn to Ashes have stuck to their guns musically thanks to guitarist Brian Deneeve (who has been featured on all albums). Hence, the album is chock full of pummeling riffs which segue into sweeping melodies, which is archetypically From Autumn to Ashes and thus the reason why they are loved by some.

Holding a Wolf by the Ears' strengths are in teeth-kicking tracks such as "On the Offensive" and "Pioneers," which could have been on any other FATA album. The first minute of "Daylight Slavings" is the brow-raising moment of the entire work. The Thrice-y sequence starts off with a buildup into welcoming Francis Mark's voice and continues to sail on course (as it should).

Fans of From Autumn to Ashes have seen what may have been a shifted focus onto Francis Mark, especially on 2005's Abandon Your Friends. However, this IS Mark's band since he contributes lyrics, artwork and musical duties since the band's conception. He manages to steer From Autumn to Ashes into a new era of longevity with his vocal duality. He has the same appeal as Billy Werner of Hot Cross where you can't tell if he actually can scream because it seems that his voice will prematurely crack at any moment (see album opener, "Deth Kult Social Club"). This truly is a strength coming from a man who must juggle a scream and melody often milliseconds away from eachother.

From Autumn to Ashes truly deliver the goods on Holding a Wolf by the Ears and prove that they do not have to brandish a new style or move onto drastic genre changes in order to please anyone, which has been the case with many other metalcore/nuevo-screamo bands. Their fourth and latest album showcases what they're known for and that is all that the audience asks.