The Autumn Effect opens with "Waking Up," a surgically perfect union of Tool and Incubus. 10 Years vocalist Jesse Hasek wails with the earnestness of Brandon Boyd, but also draws from the persistent tension in Maynard James Keenan's delivery. Musically, 10 Years' songs do much the same thing. They feature echoey, dripping-water guitar lines that splash into giant choruses, combining the arty darkness of Tool or Deftones with post-grunge's need for a big melodic payoff. "Cast It Out" is a great example of this, as is "Half Life." Staind and Static-X producer Josh Abraham gives Autumn Effect a serviceably crisp sound, and 10 years is enamored enough of their big payoff choruses to focus more on them than the mental darkness permeating the verses. "Through the Iris" is another highlight; the band also gets ambitious with the closing title track, which clocks in at nearly ten minutes and implodes into a primordial ooze of proto-Coil gloom. But Autumn Effect could really use more of that adventurism, more ideas that challenge the alt metal/post-grunge status quo instead of fitting so ably within it. It's one thing to sound as awesome as your heroes; it's another to take what they've done further. There's promise in 10 Years playing. But in the meantime, there are lyrics like "Precious gift embedded deep within your skin/But parasitic pleasures are closer than kin" and "New grains of time will not rewind." The lines are poetic in their torment, but they're still pretty typical for alt metal, and that commonness is what ultimately saps The Autumn Effect.
The Autumn Effect Review
by Johnny Loftus