Monday, November 18, 2013

An Autumn For Crippled Children : "try not to destroy everything you love"

This mystery band from the Netherlands, released its 4th full length and it continues down the road away from Depressive Suicidal Black Metal. Though its album does not strike me a as being as post-rock as the last and a few shades darker. The Cure influence  seems to be more prominent than the Russian Circles. On the track "The Woods are on Fire" the utilize sounds that affirm their love for My Bloody Valentine, but I would not say this throws them in the same bandwagon as the other black gaze bands and shoe gaze is just one element present on this album.

They have much keener eyes for the details in the composition and take the songs in more unexpected direction rather than their old song writing formulas which was to drone one melody to its grave. Their are heavier moments on this album than we have heard from them in recent memory, "never complete" is sonically heavy and has a thick coat of sorrow to drown you in. The vocals are the most metal element of the music, but unlike the previous album their are heavy moments they just aren't metal ones.

The title track starts off with blatant electronic elements, not trying to hide the fact they are using drum machines and a very chilled out sound.The sample underneath sounds like something from a Smiths album, while most of the other elements are like 80's Cure. The screams are layered under a coat of distortion and find them selves buried under the synths. It ebbs and flows from these more post-rock guitar sections before blaring back at you in the end.

The breezy glide into the night sky on " hearts of light" is the first song that bears any similarity to their early work, though it is clear the production is coated in the shoe gaze like distortion rather than their older more metallic sound. The vocals sound like they are being screamed with more anguish than ever before as they lay under more denser layers. "Sepia Mountains For Her Lament" sounds just like the title, the drums take on a more metal feel as double bass accents the swells.

The dizzy intro to "Closer" starts off with a much different  feel than what the bands has done before, an upbeat tempo that never settles into the melancholy. In the songs final minute black metal returns in a fast and soaring manner than doesn't rely on blast beats. They dial this back for  moment in "avoiding winter" that starts off with a twinkle and begins to build in intensity through out even allowing for a electronic style break that is just one of the albums many moments that don't sound like anything they have done before.

The post -rock lead into "starlit spirits" finds the band once again in familiar territory, but after they have spoiled us so much with some of the innovation on this album it feels like a step back.I'll give this album a 9 as its an improvement from the last though the drone of the shoe gaze fuzz at times weighs it down , this is still and impressive piece of work.      

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