An Autumn For Crippled Children
Try Not To Destroy Everything You Love


4.0
excellent

Review

by RivalSkoomaDealer USER (21 Reviews)
April 15th, 2014 | 20 replies | 2,825 views


Release Date: 11/11/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Gorgeous and uplifting, despite what their titles might imply.

6 of 7 thought this review was well written

Almost every facet of contemporary music these days seem to be pushing for an emphasis on “atmosphere.” Popular genres such as rock, hip-hop, electronic, and yes even metal seem to be in a state of transition. One could soundly argue that the foundation of many of these genres have always rooted themselves in atmospheric soundscapes. But in a genre like black metal-a genre that prides itself in its affinity for capturing the essence of suffering-it has seen an interesting evolution in sound. The boundaries of the genre have shifted toward a much more uplifting listening experience and in doing so have gained notoriety from many who would’ve once dismissed such extreme styles of music. Long-time fans of the genre have slapped “blackgaze” or even “hipster metal” tags on this new era of black metal artists but the fact remains that it has attracted much more attention from the music community at large.

After listening to An Autumn for Crippled Children’s latest LP,Try Not to Destroy Everything You Love, you can tell that the band were aiming for a similar level of success as last year’s Sunbather. Deafheaven’s magnum opus was quite well received and set the bar to nearly impossible heights for other blackgaze acts to come. It would be unfair to say that they haven’t been playing the “uplifting” card since before Deafheaven’s success, but to be so hot on Sunbather’s heels definitely indicates a “strike while the iron is hot” approach. Fortunately, TNTDEYL has its own identity, and on the whole it’s a pretty engaging listen.

What really gives this album its flair is the synth-work. The songs feel like they could’ve almost begun as synth-pop tunes, but through cruel mad science experiments have mutated into ethereal, avant-garde black metal. Autumn Again’s post punk sensibility sets an interesting tone for the album, immediately highlighting the layered synth passages that dominate the record. The way in which the bass plods along phenomenally with the melody also serves as an absolute standout to these songs. Once again the band experiments with strings and proves that they’re capable of bringing in a variety of different sounds and textures into the overall mix.

The songwriting is another praiseworthy aspect of the record. Many tracks such as “The Woods Are on Fire” and “Never Complete” begin in medias res and feel grand despite the lo-fi quality to the production. Both songs build to an absolutely stunning conclusion and miraculously make their point in less than five minutes, a feat that Deafheaven never managed to do on Sunbather. In fact, none of the tracks on TNTDEYL exceed the six minute mark, making it feel much less meandering than most other blackgaze records. The build on “Sepia Mountains for Her Lament” is perhaps the defining moment of the record, transitioning from a haunting piano movement into a crescendo of guitars and strings that climax at the apex of the album’s musical high point.

The album does suffer a bit on the production side of things however. While the instrumentation may sound grandiose despite the lo-fi aspect of the mix, the vocals are nearly drowned out entirely throughout the duration of the record. This may agitate some depending on how much emphasis you feel the vocals should have, but I found that with repeat listens this problem doesn’t feel quite as aggravating.

Try Not to Destroy Everything You Love is a gorgeous record. Perhaps if it had come one year earlier than it did, it might’ve met more acclaim than what it’s already received. Still, anybody who was enamored with bands like Deafheaven or Altar of Plagues last year should enjoy this. It manages to forge its own identity amidst the increasingly saturated post black metal movement, something that a sizeable amount of other bands in the genre seem to struggle with.



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user ratings (89)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
RivalSkoomaDealer
April 14th 2014



765 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Stream here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM-aXFuR9P8

Number of times referred to Deafheaven and/or Sunbather in review - 6.

I just feel like they kind've encompass what seems to be popular in the genre right now and wanted to express my admiration for how this album differentiates itself.

Thanks for reading. What'd you guys think of the album?

Digging: SBTRKT - Wonder Where We Land

climactic
April 14th 2014



18854 Comments


nice rev but you mentioned deafheaven way too much; this almost seems like a comparison piece.

i like the album, but not quite as much as you did. this definitely feels like an actual black metal/shoegaze hybrid as opposed to black metal with shoegaze influence

Diamondize
April 14th 2014



1367 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Try Not To Destroy Everything You Love > Sunbather

Digging: Dead Can Dance - Within the Realm of a Dying Sun

RivalSkoomaDealer
April 14th 2014



765 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fair enough criticism. I might've gotten a little carried away.

climactic
April 14th 2014



18854 Comments


i mean its an atmospheric bm/blackgaze album with a pink cover so comparisons are inevitable, but you mentioned them in a majority of the paragraphs, i'd say thats a no-no.

RivalSkoomaDealer
April 14th 2014



765 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

3 out of 6 paragrahs but I see where you're coming from.

fromtheinside
April 14th 2014



18171 Comments


pink is definitely the new black

Digging: Young Widows - Easy Pain

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 15th 2014



31140 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

wtf, didn't even know this existed

Digging: Banks - Goddess

Evreaia
April 15th 2014



4031 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Why do i feel like these guys are seriously shitting out material. An album a year, damn

Digging: Dornenreich - Freiheit

Nikkolae
April 15th 2014



4846 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Try Not To Destroy Everything You Love > Sunbather [2]

Digging: Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden

RivalSkoomaDealer
April 15th 2014



765 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

As far as musicianship goes maybe but definitely not production wise.

Nikkolae
April 15th 2014



4846 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

well, when all dfhvn has on them is the production...

RivalSkoomaDealer
April 16th 2014



765 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I definitely wouldn't say that's ALL they have going for them. And I think most people would agree.

ArcticTundra13
April 18th 2014



2 Comments


Good review. This album makes me want to check out the rest of their material fo sho.

RivalSkoomaDealer
April 18th 2014



765 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks! "Only the Ocean Knows" is also pretty solid, but i'd say this is by far their best effort.

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
April 18th 2014



18439 Comments


lost is the best thing theyve ever done

Digging: Recondite - Caldera/DRGN 2

climactic
April 18th 2014



18854 Comments


agreed with hype, this one lays on the gaze just a LITTLE too much

RivalSkoomaDealer
April 18th 2014



765 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Guess I need to jam Lost again. Its been a long time so the most recent stuff is what has stuck with me the most.

Nikkolae
April 28th 2014



4846 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

am i getting some "New Order" vibes off of this cause damn, this keeps getting better, if only they
could balance the wall of sound a bit more with the black metal side and this would blow sunbather out
of the water.

bach
May 20th 2014



12528 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this be my shiiii

Digging: Myrkur - Myrkur



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