Distributor/label: Wickerman Recordings
Distributor/label URL: http://www.wickermanrec.com
Buy Album [URL]: https://anautumnforcrippledchildren.bandcamp.com/album/the-long-goodbye
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/An-Autumn-For-Crippled-Children
1. The Long Goodbye
2. Converging Towards the Light
3. A New Form of Stillnes
4. Only Skin
5. When Night Leaves Again
6. She’s Drawning Mountains
7. Endless Skies
9. The Sleep of Rust
Dutch trio An Autumn For Crippled Children, along with their contemporaries Deafheaven and the like, don’t get a lot of credit for being innovative in some metal circles, outside of the “they look they shop in River Island” kind of comments. After 2013’s floral and critically praised Try Not Destroy Everything You Love, AAFCC take their marks for album five, continuing in the same emotional, explorative fashion, with 9 tracks and even more painful sounding amplifiers.
But the crunchy guitars do more than just create a wall of sound. High ringing melodies pierce with anger and love, soaring in every almost track, but best shown with the uplifting and yet melancholic “Only Skin”. This light/dark contrast is arguably what this ensemble does best, making you feel so sorrowsome yet optimistic at the same time. Never has the drink in the half-empty glass tasted so good.
The black metal harshness is a key influence; at times the record feels very disciplined to the early 90s school of Scandinavian BM, with tremolo picked riffs and arpeggiated chords that create sinister atmospheres. At the same time, Mchl’s vocals suggest a strong USBM influence, most notably Leviathan, with strangled screams that present no clear emotions other than negative ones. Whilst Chr’s drumming is percussive and modern, Td’s bass harks back to Peter Hook, and lays the foundation for gothic influences to shine. It is as if a Faith era Cure collaborated with Burzum.
Sounds perfect to some doesn’t it? Except it isn’t as well as executed as we could have hoped for from An Autumn For Crippled Children. Very little in their approach seems to have changed in the last 7 years, some albums have more keyboards, some have less- but all in all AAFCC are sticking to their sound. I’m not anticipating any grumbles from die-hards, but as the album slowly starts to drift away with “Endless Skies”, I can’t say I’m as sad as the band probably want me to be.
Review by Jarod Lawley