An Autumn For Crippled Children - Everything
ATMF
Atmospheric Black Metal
9 songs (43'45")
Release year: 2011
ATMF
Reviewed by Alex

With a band name like An Autumn for Crippled Children it is impossible not to attract attention. This moniker, taken from the song by a little known gothic act Ebonylake, does stand out. It did for me, anyway, a year ago, but somehow a band’s debut Lost on the Italian avant-garde black metal label ATMF went by me. The review, lumping Lost into a general depressive metal crowd, published at the time on our site did nothing to spur my attention back to that album. The new 2011 release Everything, however, will challenge that notion.

Beginning with Katatonia chords circa Last Fair Deal Gone Down on the opener Forever Never Fails, the Dutch trio quickly moves into what is their signature wall of sound, textured guitars and streaming, pouring, but not overwhelming, keyboards. The keys do take on a leading role at times (Formlessness), but it is a totality of An Autumn for Crippled Children music that impresses. On a moment’s notice the fullness of sound can be turned off to allow exploring some inner vistas (Forever Never Fails), or instrumental percussive music with foreground whispers can turn the volume and density full force (We All Fall).

Perhaps I am delusional here, but given that everyone is allowed his/her own comprehension of the music, I did not feel exclusively depressive notes emanating from Everything. Sure enough, Cold Spring has chilly moments drifting in and out, and Her Dress as a Poem, Her Dress as the Night does sound like something one could hear on Lost (I did catch a quick sneak peak of that album before embarking on this write). But rather overwhelmingly I did feel actually OPTIMISM in An Autumn for Crippled Children music on Everything. Just when it seems that everything is lost, a flicker of hope rises out of Nothing/Everything. Melodies on Everything are life affirmative, leaving the crap of generic dull working days behind. Listening to songs like Formlessness is taking a bird’s low-altitude flight, gliding over some tough landscapes but observing serene and beautiful spots as well. Even more cavernous and guarded Absence of Contrast finds its way to an enticing relief.

The fleeting flying “bird” of An Autumn for Crippled Children has a voice too, but it is demonstrated with an interesting vocal approach on this album. Very often you may not even notice the vocals. They are completely a part of the song fabric, subliminal, barely noticeable. In spots (I Am the Veil) they do step forward, but vocalist MXM definitely does not grab the spotlight on Everything, even though he does often scream atop of his lungs. As they say, the trick is all in the mix.

The term “beauty” may strangely apply to this album, not because of incredible harmonies or because your soul will rest with the sounds of Everything. Realistic soundscapes and fitting titles (one can hear fists of downpour in broad keyboard swaths on Rain), An Autumn for Crippled Children is more dense, maybe a bit more hysterical and on edge Alcest, definitely less euphoric, but nonetheless satisfying. If you give Everything a chance it may break a stereotype or two about “depressive” (quotation marks needed here) atmospheric metal.

Killing Songs :
The first five cuts were the most gripping in my opinion
Alex quoted 86 / 100
Other albums by An Autumn For Crippled Children that we have reviewed:
An Autumn For Crippled Children - Try Not To Destroy Everything You Love reviewed by Neill and quoted 87 / 100
An Autumn For Crippled Children - Lost reviewed by Goat and quoted 78 / 100
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