From Autumn to Ashes, with Poison the Well, All That Remains and Throwdown

Many emocore groups alternate hefty and wimpy singers, but From Autumn to Ashes takes this approach to extremes. Grizzly shouter Benjamin Perri and comforting crooner Francis Mark actually swap lines during the verses, old-school Run-D.M.C.-style. Mark doubles as the band's drummer, so when FATA plays live, his disembodied yet reassuring voice seems to emerge from an invisible guardian angel. On 2003's The Fiction We Live, the group enlisted chanteuse Melanie Willis to commandeer lead vocals on the acoustic lament "Autumn's Monologue," then devoted the title track to a darkly romantic Mark-helmed response. Such dramatic gestures failed to impress hard-core fans of the group's debut disc, Too Bad You're Beautiful, on which Mark used his sticks much more than his pipes. Yet for all its meaty riffs, Too Bad had a tender core: One of its heaviest tunes borrowed a line from Dawson's Creek. FATA's current tour covers tracks from every step of its evolution, including unreleased material from its impending August album, and the set list's surprising cohesion vindicates the band's vision.
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Andrew Miller