The Offering – Home (Century Media)

Friday, 2nd August 2019
Rating: 9/10

Establishing yourselves in a crowded metal marketplace is key to career development. The Offering through their self-titled EP in 2017 put this former Florida/ currently Massachusetts quartet on the map, a heavy/power cocktail of sounds that features multiple influences past and present, while still being quite melodic to contain numerous hooks and grooves. The follow-up full-length Home not only has a couple of member shifts (bassist Spencer Metala of Hate Storm Annihilation joining in 2018, guitarist Daniel Martinez departing to pare the lineup down to a quartet) but an added air of sophistication, confidence, and go for broke attitude to really showcase more facets of what The Offering can – for lack of a better term – ‘offer’ to the metal public.

Rarely will you find musicians who embrace some late 90’s alternative/nu-metal influences and transpose them into a heavy/power context – but that’s what The Offering excels at throughout this record. The snare snap and potent drum kit sounds from Steve Finn propel you right out of the gate for opener “Waste Away” – beyond the multiple growls and mid-range/higher melodic vocals emanating from the wonderous world of singer Alex Richichi. There’s a rhythmic sense penetrating the main structures – layers of guitar and bass swirl in unison, channeling everything from Nevermore to Machine Head, Slipknot to System of a Down, and classic metal like early Ozzy and Judas Priest – making “Lovesick” and “Hysteria” two standouts for neckbreaking, adrenaline-fueled elevation through initial and successive playbacks. The closing title track at almost fifteen-minutes is the longest for The Offering to date – an opening sequence very doomy/ominous with light orchestration touches, containing Type O Negative/melodic death vestiges vocally, a serene mid-section that includes emotive lead guitar accents from Nishad George only to twist into progressive / wall of death riff madness.

Alex’s superior sense of phrasing and voice separation puts The Offering on a different plane than 95% of the metal bands on the landscape today. The machine gun snare hits and tapping electric volleys give chase in “Ultraviolence” to his crazy versatility, from death growls to speedy shrieks, along with Rob Halford-like highs leaving jaws on the floor. Seeking out a mixture of home/professional studio recording means plus mixing/mastering with Fredrik Nordström in Sweden gives the final product that punch and edge necessary to stand the test of time.

Chances are, Home will establish The Offering as a viable younger act who bridge the gap between the established, old guard and the newer, more aggressive/modern crop of artists. Go big or go home – and as such, this is a monster of an addictive record where you can peel back new layers as you can deeper clarity of the heavy/power songs contained within.

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