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An Autumn For Crippled Children – The Long Goodbye

An Autumn For Crippled Children
The Long Goodbye
by H.P. Buttcraft at 01 March 2015, 7:34 PM

If you can imagine what it would sound like if the music of BURZUM was mashed in together with THE FLAMING LIPS or COLDWORLD mixed in with some INTERPOL and you get something sort of similar to AN AUTUMN FOR CRIPPLED CHILDREN. They are part of this new wave of post-black metal along with bands like DEAFHEAVEN and GHOST BATH but they differentiate themselves as having a more groove-oriented style of depressive black metal.

Formed in 2008, AN AUTUMN FOR CRIPPLED CHILDREN consists of three Dutch musicians who have retained their anonymity thus far. Their 2013 LP “Try Not to Destroy Everything You Love” was welcomed by a large amount of critical and audience approval. Its important to point out that AN AUTUMN FOR CRIPPLED CHILDREN is not your traditional black metal band, if you couldn’t already tell by the strange and lengthy name that they go by. Similar to symphonic and ambient black metal bands, the key instrument to the music is the synthesizer and keyboards. But AN AUTUMN FOR CRIPPLED CHILDREN alter their synthesizers to produce much dreamier strings and ambient vocals closer to the kind of retro electro-pop tone you’d expect to hear from non-metal artists like TWIN SHADOW or GRIMES, for example. So there is a very clear sign of a more indie rock-friendly composition to AN AUTUMN FOR CRIPPLED CHILDREN. Even a lot of the guitar riffs from AN AUTUMN FOR CRIPPLED CHILDREN sound deeply rooted in post punk, shoegaze and post rock. The drums are heavily subdued and outside of the snare and the hi-hat, the rest of the drum playing gets lost amidst everything else. If there are no blasting drums, is this music truly even metal at all, much less black metal?

For me, the song from “The Long Goodbye” called “Gleam” is the album’s high point. This is a perfect representation of this “blackened indie rock” (a genre I am copyrighting right now) I am speaking of. I am not even trying to use this term in a negative context because this band is so very clearly influenced more by post-rock and indie bands but only have a small element of black metal in the guitar and the vocals. There is also a stoic sense of transcendent nihilism through emotional agony and pain that the music coveys. It really is a sound all entirely to itself. Its sort of reminiscent of NACHTMYSTIUM’s “Addicts: Black Meddle Part II”, which was a very dark and dreary album but was somehow still danceable in a gothic rock kind of way.

The Long Goodbye”, as compared to other modern rock albums, doesn’t really seem to want to conform to the obvious new goal in rock music, to be used for commercial purposes. AN AUTUMN FOR CRIPPLED CHILDREN clearly do their own thing and although a lot of the instrumental riffs and melodies on this album could be taken out of context for an electric car commercial. When you listen to “Only Skin” on “The Long Goodbye”, the sole factor separating this band from a band like FUTURE ISLANDS are the screeching, incomprehensible vocals. By the way, anyone has seen the YouTube video of FUTURE ISLANDS on The Late Show with David Letterman knows that their lead singer Samuel T. Herring can do better metal vocals than Mcheln of AN UTUMN FOR CRIPPLED CHILDREN.

But as a metal album, “The Long Goodbye” is extremely interesting to listen to. But I would imagine that most metal purists would hate this music en lieu of something more blasting and powerful. I think fans of bands like depressive black metal will start to listen to AN AUTUMN FOR CRIPPLED CHILDREN and if the albums “Try Not To Destroy Everything You Love” and “The Long Goodbye”. But I don’t know how you can depend on a fan base of people who all think about ending their own lives.


3 Star Rating

1. The Long Goodbye
2. Converging Towards the Light
3. A New Form of Stillness
4. Only Skin
5. When Night Leaves Again
6. She’s Drawing Mountains
7. Endless Skies
8. Gleam
9. The Sleep of Rust
Mchl – Guitars, Vocals, Keys
Td – Bass, Keys
Chr – Drums
Record Label: Wickerman Recordings


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