An Autumn for Crippled Children release a slightly different album
By Peter R. Clark Entertainment Editor
It came as a shock to me that An Autumn for Crippled Children (AAFCC) released a new album towards the end of August.
“Eternal” is AAFCC’s 6th full-length album. Much like their previous albums, “Eternal” is a claustrophobic romp more felt than heard.
AAFCC is a post-black metal band from the Netherlands. The group consists of 3 members who use ambiguous names. Since their formation in 2008, AAFCC has been making extremely experimental black metal music utilizing synths as well as the standard instruments.
To the casual listener, “Eternal” may sound like more of the same. The standard of being buried six feet deep in a coffin full of synths, drums, whiny and distant guitars, and scratchy vocals, but to the veteran listener this album is a bit different than the others so far.
“Eternal” feels as if you are buried four feet deep, with maybe an air hole to breathe. While still quite claustrophobic like other albums, there are moments of clarity.
There are moments where AAFCC wants the listener to hear the bigger picture, but these moments are fleeting. Before you know it, you’re right back in that coffin, suffocating and enjoying every moment of it.
Much like AAFCC’s other albums, the vocals in “Eternal” are merely another instrument in the chaos. Since no lyrics are ever posted for any of their songs, and they are mostly incomprehensible as it is, it is safe to listen to each song with the mindset that the lyrics are unimportant to the songs. The most information you get about a song lyrically is the title of each track, which all have some sort of depressing title.
“Eternal” also feels like previous albums in many ways, as each track seems to blend into each other. The album is one, with little breaks, and sometimes it is hard to tell one song from another.
However, there are some tracks that stand out on this album. “I Will Never Let You Die” is an example of AAFCC trying to bring you further up from the ground. The track begins with a wall of sound, a melodic approach to the oncoming descent into madness once the vocals kick in.
It is one part beautiful, and six parts tragic. This song heavily uses synths to convey emotion, especially during the bridge of the song.
Another standout song on the albums is “This Small Space you Occupied is So Empty Now.” It’s a fast-paced song from the get-go, emphasizing the distant guitars, and bass with in-your-face drums. The vocals here, as always, are distant like a person screaming into a microphone at a concert, but the microphone is turned off.
Overall, it’s a song that does little changing, except for slight variations in the melody. It’s a unique song for them, and really showcases how far they have come.
“Cloud Mood,” the second to last track on the album, focuses on a piano. It is one of the cleanest sounding pianos they have ever used. It pierces through the track and stands out from every other chaotic noise of the coffin.
It takes a while for the vocalist to start in this song, but when he does, he matches the melody of the piano for an interesting effect on the track.
“Farewell” is a song that mixes things up for them. It starts off with only synths, making them sound like a completely different band for quite a while.
A lot of the instruments sound clear, and less claustrophobic than normal. This all changes once the vocals come in. The song then reverts back to their normal tight quarters. Perhaps this is song is the future of the band.
Overall, AAFCC’s 6th album is one to be enjoyed. It’s a lot better than their previous one, but not quite as good as “Only the Ocean Knows” (2012) and “Try Not to Destroy Everything you Love” (2013).
“Eternal” is a great entry into their discography, and one I’ll be listening to for quite some time.