An Autumn For Crippled Children
Eternal


3.5
great

Review

by Sabrutin USER (37 Reviews)
September 4th, 2016 | 31 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: (Subtly) shedding skin

Seven years, six LPs, three EPs, mysterious identities, no live shows and lyrics still undisclosed. An Autumn For Crippled Children is a secretive but busy entity that keeps on giving, a trusted yearly appointment for everyone who's into this "blackgaze" movement. AAFCC is moving on a steady road. Admittedly, not the most typically exciting one; the critique of repetition has been ever present and it's understandable why. Yet, the band is actually moving. Slowly but steadily drifting away from a depressive black metal mentality in favor of a more post rock influenced one as confirmed again by their new opening track "Eternal Youth", while always oozing with shoegaze.

As a consequence, Eternal isn't a drastic departure from the band's recent offerings. But place it right next to the debut album Lost and the evolution is evident, with MCHL's furious shrieks being the last real link to black metal. It's due to this broadening of the band's soundscape that we can actually see AAFCC as a "band". What makes them special is that it does feel like a real ensemble without machines is playing beneath the music. The identities may be unknown, but personality isn't lacking at all. This is best shown by the rhythm section: CHR's drumming is energetic and diverse throughout the album far from the genre clichés, while TD's warm bass playing fills the tracks with character and a certain taste that one may not expect in a release of this kind.

Still for many the protagonist will be MCHL. His tortured screams are a trademark of the band's sound, the conviction with which they're delivered makes them evocative and the need to understand the lyrics isn't really felt. The keyboards (duty shared with TD) aren't relegated to mere background, and his guitar playing is the key element in the distorted wall of sound, often but not always resorting to tremolo picking. Everything shines in the track "Swallowed by Night's Despair" which, at barely 3 and a half minutes, is the band's catchiest and arguably most accessible offering to date, while its upbeat intro riffing makes it one of Eternal's most memorable moments.

Speaking of that, AAFCC's latest release offers some instrumentally uplifting and lively material like "This Small Space You Occupied Is So Empty Now" or "On Fire", along the lines of some parts of last year's The Long Goodbye. Obviously slower pieces are still present and occupy a consistent portion of Eternal, like the chilling "Days of Sleep" with its mysterious atmosphere and slow, wandering guitar line. All in all the album sound can be described through its cover artwork. Take the colorful floral imagery of Try Not to Destroy Everything You Love and fuse it with the gloomier scenery of The Long Goodbye. Because that's how Eternal sounds, a coexistence of the band's shoegaze peak (which is the former) and more direct music, introduced in the latter.

Anyway, this sixth full length isn't likely to change many minds about the "aren't they sounding stale already"" question, because the sense of repetition is becoming harder to defend due to the safety of various tracks. But those who have already been captured by the trio's formula will find another rich set of tracks packed with details. All things considered Eternal isn't a dramatic step from The Long Goodbye but, at the band's pace, it's one made in a favorable open-ended direction. It's interesting how the band keeps going on by tweaking their formula little by little, but how long will the fans keep on being interested when the music stays this samey" It's time to throw them a curveball.



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user ratings (46)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Sabrutin
September 4th 2016


5738 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Stream on Bandcamp: https://anautumnforcrippledchildren.bandcamp.com/album/eternal/

Alternative stream with vinyl pre-order: https://wickermanrec.bandcamp.com/album/eternal/

"Swallowed by Night's Despair": https://soundcloud.com/aafcc/an-autumn-for-crippled-children-swallowed-by-nights-despair/



Another year, more new AAFCC material. As much as I defend the band, this one felt a bit too safe even for me so beware! Do check the track above though, it's a cutie.

FullOfSounds
September 4th 2016


15764 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review, I'll check right now.

Sabrutin
September 4th 2016


5738 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks, hope you'll dig

Keyblade
September 4th 2016


25991 Comments


damn another album already

FullOfSounds
September 4th 2016


15764 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm really liking this so far.

DoctorDoom
September 4th 2016


2987 Comments


This is great. Any news on a release date for physical copies.

FullOfSounds
September 4th 2016


15764 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is hitting all my sweet spots, didn't expect to like it this much.

Sabrutin
September 4th 2016


5738 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sweet, glad people still dig them!



"Any news on a release date for physical copies"

Vinyl pre-orders are available through the second bandcamp link I posted, limited to 150 copies, set to ship around the 15th of October. CDs will be available too of course, but no release date as of now.

dbizzles
September 4th 2016


12281 Comments


Oh, fucking cool! I had no idea this was coming.

Hawks
September 4th 2016


60929 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Had no idea they had something coming out this year, although I probably should've guessed it. Gonna jam so hard.

Digging: Four Fists - 6666

geofftatortott
September 4th 2016


82 Comments


Sounds quite a bit like Dedicated to Chaos era Queensryche -

MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
September 4th 2016


1322 Comments


I'd never heard of them before this review but I'm really digging this, there's something fascinating about the bleak vocals against the dreamy and uplifting backing tracks...

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
September 4th 2016


1400 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Snooze fest imo

Digging: Coheed and Cambria - Vaxis - Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures

Sabrutin
September 4th 2016


5738 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks for the feature!



"Snooze fest imo"

I can see it, took me a while to click and I love this band. The only track I loved at first listen is Swallowed, because the riffing got stuck in my head instantly. I can see them adopting some clean vocals in the near future, they worked rather well in the past (see I Am the Veil).



"Sounds quite a bit like Dedicated to Chaos era Queensryche -"

The golden era, as we like to call it. Taint really outdid himself there.



"I'd never heard of them before this review but I'm really digging this, there's something fascinating about the bleak vocals against the dreamy and uplifting backing tracks..."

If you like it that much then you may be in for a treat. Just pick the one with the artwork you dig the most, if you aren't sure about what to choose.

wwf
September 4th 2016


6145 Comments


what a band name lmao

Sabrutin
September 4th 2016


5738 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Long story short



Ebony Lake - "An Autumn to Cripple Children"

Thanntos
September 4th 2016


339 Comments


Always loved this band, always will.
The Long Goodbye, but a slim margin, was my #1 album last year, which surprised the hell out of even me. Can't wait to hear this.

Hawks
September 4th 2016


60929 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The Long Goodbye is amazing. Don't think they'll ever top Lost, but they've been consistently great.

FullOfSounds
September 4th 2016


15764 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I really don't know why this hits me so well.

teamster
September 4th 2016


3181 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This band spits out albums like Iron Maiden in the '80s. Still have to listen to this. I love their previous two. Excellent review and thanks.

Digging: Agrypnie - Grenzgśnger



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