From Autumn to Ashes - The Fiction We Live
Record Label: Vagrant
Release Date: September 9th, 2003
The Fiction We Live is the follow up album by Long Island band From Autumn to Ashes, the it marks the band's progression from a less chaotic and cathartic instrumental to a more melodic, yet still heavy, sound.
From Autumn to Ashes are one of the bands that brought 'screamo' to a new level for me. Upon first listen to the "The After Dinner Payback," I was struck at the ferocity of the screams of vocalist Ben Perri. I wondered how something so savage can be soothing at the same time. But it was through the bands lyrics and topics that brought it all home for me. So whilst at first listen, the vocals dont exactly seem to be done with much emotion or passion it's simply the way bands like FATA and co. get their emotions and message across.
Delving deeper into the lyrics shows the true emotion, with lines such as "All my hopes and all of my dreams, everything falling in between, seems to me that memories mean more to you than they do to me." The general tone of the album is heartbreak and broken relationships, a norm in the now over-crowded genre.
The album kicks of with the "The After Dinner Payback" which starts with the aforementioned savage screams of Ben Perri claiming "I'm not wishing anymore, I'm not writing songs for you, I sleep better in the dark, I'm not doing this for you," which is soon followed my Mark Francis' thundering drumming, which for me is a highlight throughout the song and the rest of the album. Midway the through the song, the tempo slows and we're introduced to Francis' vocal stylings and much of the clean vocals throughout.
The vocal overlapping of Perri's screams and Francis' clean vocals is produced extremely well and a formula used throughout the album. The momentum of the album is carried with the similar patterns and tempos with "Lilacs and Lolita'" and "Milligram Smile," until the acoustic and harrowing "Autumns Monologue" which features guest vocals from Melanie Wills. This is one of the highlights lyrically giving the perspective of a heartbroken woman only to be replied to in the title track "The Fiction We Live" sung completely by Francis' truly capturing the emotion of both parties.