An Autumn For Crippled Children – The Long Goodbye

An Autumn For Crippled Children
The Long Goodbye
Released 23th February 2015
Atmospheric Black Metal
Released via Wickerman Recordings

‘The Long Goodbye’ is the new album from the Friesland-based Dutch black metal band An Autumn For Crippled Children. It is the follow up to ‘Try Not to Destroy Everything You Love’. The band’s name is derived from a song by the avantgarde Gothic metal band Ebonylake.

Now, they say that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but in this particular case the cover is a perfect depiction of An Autumn For Crippled Children. Their sound is melancholic and eerie, just like the gloomy looking clouds and the dark mountains on the front cover, but despite this it also offers that strangely soothing feeling that you might experience when observing this type of landscape.

Amidst the singer’s raw shrieks there’s a certain beauty and tranquility to be found in the sombre melodies; the soft guitar tunes working with the atmospheric keyboards to create a pleasant and (dare I say it) “relaxing” effect. Only Skin is a good example of just how well the other instruments diffuse and soften the blow to the eardrums that were caused by the harsh vocals. It’s a delicate balance which is very hard to maintain but these guys make it work. In fact it’s fair to say that the predominant and often the only black metal elements here are the vocals because the music itself is rather mild and more akin to radio-friendly rock than extreme metal. For example, the atmospheric and serene She’s Drawing Mountains is one of those; without the shrieking vocals it would be just a pleasant instrumental track which you could easily play in a café. Gleam caught my attention as one of the few tracks on here which has that catchy, “rocking” tinge to it thanks to the keyboards, making it one of the more memorable tracks on here.

Overall, the main problem that I have with this release is that there is very little distinction between the tracks. You can go through over half of the album without even noticing the songs change. An Autumn For Crippled Children tend to play it safe and stick to the same tried and tested formula of non-offensive, melancholic and pleasant-sounding, atmospheric metal with black metal shrieks. It works well as a background noise to tune into whilst you’re concentrating on something else.


Iza Raittila

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