Another notch that further cements them as the future of metal
'Home' by The Offering was one of my most anticipated albums of 2019. I couldn't wait to hear a full-length from these guys after how impressed I was by their 2017 EP. 'Home' does not disappoint and is another testament to just how ridiculously good this band is.
The Offering covers so many different styles of music within this album that listing all of them would be a monumental task in and of itself. That's one of the things though that makes them stand out so much in this day where bands tend to kind of piggyback off one and another. In one song, you can get a blast of grindcore that's followed up with some progressive metal and then a bit of blues creep in as well. The musical journey alone on this album is a dizzying, ecstatic roller coaster ride that has more twists and turns than the world's largest pretzel. There are a couple of songs that I really want to mention in a bit of detail but mostly I'm going to try and keep things from getting too wordy and just talk about the album as a whole.
The singles released off the album by the band, "Ultraviolence", "Lovesick" and "Failure (S.O.S.)" were perfect choices and great windows into just what the band offer up with their music. "Ultraviolence" was the first song that I heard in advance of the album coming out and I listened to it repeatedly, even after getting the album. It just comes right out of the gates with this sheer bravado and aggression that overwhelms you. Then the verse starts and you have this baseline riff that continues the aggression and vocals from Alex Richichi that are an incredible mix of growls, cleans and grindcore exhalations. Then you hit this middle section and it switches over to a power metal feel with these clean and catchy vocals. The ending has a section of increasing screams that ratchet up the octave each time and is just absolutely bonkers.
"Lovesick" had what I felt was the unenviable task of having to follow in the shadow of "Ultraviolence" but I shouldn't have been surprised that it easily was able to escape the shadow without difficulty. This is probably my favorite song as far as riffs are concerned from the whole album. Guitarist Nishad George crafts some wickedly heavy riffs as well as some incredibly nifty pinch harmonics during the chorus and some soloing that would cause the guys from DragonForce to take notice. Fast, fluid and furious is how I would describe George's guitar work on this track. The breakdown in the middle has this deathcore feel to it that infects you and causes you to scream along.
"Failure (S.O.S.)" was the latest single released and lyrically was the most fascinating to me. The lyrics throughout the album are incredibly well done but this one really grabbed my attention. I don't claim to know what the intention of the song is but to me it feels like a bit of a commentary on the daily struggle and how expendable we as individuals are to the world as a whole. That our existence may mean something to us but to the universe it's just inconsequential. Lyrically it's a really heavy song. I also enjoyed the reference to the Lesser Keys of Solomon in this track. I'm a big fan of all things occult and it was really cool seeing that mentioned in the lyrics.
The show stopper though from this album has got to be the title track, "Home". Clocking in at nearly 15 minutes, this was a very ambitious venture and the band was able to pull it off without a hitch. You get what feels like three different songs in this one track but it all flows together and congeals into one massively cohesive track. This brings all of the individual likes I had from the singles that were released and combines them together rather impressively. I keep coming back to this song and am continually awed by it each and every time I listen to it again.
The album overall is extremely solid and all the songs together have a very interesting and dark narrative to it. I was thoroughly entranced by the storyline that the album tells. Musically everything is top notch on 'Home'. The production is also impeccable, especially given all the twists and turns the band throw out and Fredrik Nordstrom was hands down the right choice to produce it. With his knowledge, it really helps make the album complete and be as cohesive as it turned out.
One of the things that I find really intriguing about The Offering is that it's impossible to categorize them into one genre of metaldom. I think this is something that works really well as this band will appeal to metal fans across the spectrum. There are so many styles that the band incorporates that there's bound to be something for everyone. And even more impressive is the fact that they do it so seamlessly. I feel that 'Home' is yet another notch in The Offering's belt that further cements them as the future of metal. They aren't afraid to take risks and to do something that isn't the norm in metal. I find something else that I really like each time I've gone back and listened to this album and can irrevocably say that this was well worth the wait and is easily my top album of 2019 so far. Well done fellas and best of luck to you all going forward.