From Autumn to Ashes

The Fiction We Live

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

Drummer/singer Francis Mark has been quoted as saying that From Autumn to Ashes is almost like "a band with an identity crisis." His point was that F.A.T.A. thrives on contrasts -- clean alternative pop/rock melodies are contrasted with the sort of screaming, tortured vocals associated with metalcore. Actually, F.A.T.A. does have an identity and it's an appealing one, even though The Fiction We Live (the Long Islanders' second full-length album) isn't quite as consistent as it could have been -- some of the performances are more successful than others. But when the band does hit its mark, F.A.T.A. has much to offer. F.A.T.A.'s basic concept -- melody and lushness meets brutality -- is a good, intriguing idea and it has the necessary equipment to pull it off. Mark provides the melodic, accessible, more conventional vocals, while Benjamin Perri provides the metalcore-like screaming. The Fiction We Live, however, isn't a full-fledged metalcore disc -- certainly not in the way that Brick Bath, Hatebreed, Rotten Sound, and Throwdown have provided full-fledged metalcore. For the most part, the playing isn't all that heavy -- and the hardcore/metalcore element has more to do with Perri's vocal style than with the actual musicianship. Take away Perri and The Fiction We Live wouldn't be all that different from a Smashing Pumpkins CD. But Perri's presence is definitely a plus, and his screaming is often beneficial because it adds emotional emphasis to the angst-ridden lyrics. There are times when F.A.T.A. should have used him more sparingly; some of the material would have been better served by less screaming from Perri and more of Mark's "normal" singing (whatever "normal" is). But despite its imperfections, The Fiction We Live has more plusses than minuses and paints a generally appealing picture of the Long Island alterna-rockers.

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