Sunday, August 28, 2016

An Autumn For Crippled Children : "Eternal"

This band from the Netherlands keeps pumping out on a yearly basis. This time they are releasing it in lp format. the first song isn't bad and finds them doing what they do, but nothing jumps put at me, like it does on the second song which recaptures my attention. The third song brings in even more of a melodic element and shows they have been doing what Deafheaven does way before the fact. However it feels a little like Black Sabbath's "Cross Purposes" album where even though grunge would not exist without Iommi, the vocals were all in the minor third harmonies Alice In Chains used at the time. If that comparison is too much for you to get what is going on here, then you are a lost cause and should go back to sleep.

The bass and drums are totally on it from "On Fire " on. The guitar has a weird fuzzed out tone for most of the album up to this point it makes them sound almost like a synth. When the real synths come in then things get really weird and confuzzing. The vocals cry out in the same rasp they normally do. Though it's become less expansive in it's range of tortured cries and like older Deafheaven sticks to a mid range that is mixed back into the guitars.  "You Have Been in the Shadows" finds the vocals much angrier than the music around them. The post rock thing is not as obvious as it has been on other releases, yet there is no way any one in their right mind can think of these guys as a black metal band any more.

"Days of Sleep" floats on towards sightly darker clouds and a more melancholy mood. These are the best guitar melodies so far on this album. The drums sound more like they are programmed on this song, but it isn't a deal breaker. There is a lighter tone to the ambiance coating the drive of "Swallowed By Night's Despair"  The melody to "Cloud Mood" is more compelling even though it pushes them further into the more shoe gaze side. The album closes by finding the band in their more classic sonic space. I'll give this album a 7.5, it strikes me as playing it safe and almost bland. It would be nice if they got back to being a little darker like their early stuff, I could except them no longer being a black metal band if this was this case. I have accepted this for the past few albums, it's just finding them at a place where they need to rethink their direction before it leads them into stagnation. This album comes out October 17th.

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