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Autumnal - The End of the Third Day Award winner

Autumnal
The End of the Third Day
by Julius “Dreadheart” Mikkelä at 30 September 2014, 1:48 PM

Autumn is coming, and with it comes the more depressing half of the year. And on that note: Who doesn’t love Dark, Gothic and Melancholic Doom Metal? Well, probably a lot of people, but I can happily (is so the wrong word to use here) say I like my late-season coffee pitch black dark like an unholy mix of ANATHEMA, KATATONIA, MY DYING BRIDE and DRACONIAN– and that’s exactly how I’d describe Madrid, Spain’s AUTUMNAL’s second studio album “The End of the Third Day”.

It has that Melancholic hopelessness that surges through KATATONIA and ANATHEMA’s earlier works, the really Dark atmosphere and mostly slow-going and lengthy aspects of MY DYING BRIDE and the more Epic and harsh touches of DRACONIAN, and AUTUMNAL really knows how to make these variations of darkness work together – much like the aforementioned DRACONIAN does, but unlike them strays from their Extreme Metal influences and gives a more whole-hearted focus on making Dark and Gothic Doom Metal.

But what sets this band and this release apart from many of their peers is the sheer ambition and excellence of the songs: Each song is a carefully handcrafted piece of emotion that knows with near-perfection when and how to progress in order to keep the mood, keep the focus while remaining interesting and captivating – a feat many Doom Metal bands fail to emulate and instead end up sounding repetitive. Now admittedly there’s a lot of repetition on “The End of the Third Day”, which more or less comes with the territory of playing mostly slow-paced music, but ATUMNAL’s strength is that important ability to keep that slow pace feel warranted, welcome and interesting.

The weakness on the other hand that the songs, and indeed the album as a whole, have is that none of them is overly memorable as an individual song except for the 7th track which is a truly mesmerizing cover of the legendary SUPERTRAMP’s “Don’t Leave Me Now” and is easily the individually best track on the album. And as a result it sadly emphasizes the lack of memorability in the songs when the cover’s the most memorable song. Now admittedly it’s not easy matching up to the songwriting genius that was SUPERTRAMP, but when you so clearly display the ability to make such an excellent spin off such a great song you kind of end up expecting more from the remaining material, and it just doesn’t quite get there.

That being said, apart from the songs not being single material there’s absolutely nothing wrong with them – Hell, I can’t recall a single moment when I felt let-down or bored throughout the album - and overall “The End of the Third Day” is a splendid Doom Metal album. It’s not exactly the kind of album that will convince new listeners to venture into the darkness of Dark and Doom Metal, and a few hardcore Doom Metallists may be taken off by the occasional Extreme Metal aspects, but as far as I see it this is among the best Doom Metal releases of 2014 and as such it demands a chance to show itself in all its Melancholic glory.

Also, did I mention it has a SUPERTRAMP cover?

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. A Tear From A Beast
2. One Step… and the Rest of Our Lives
3. The Head of the Worm
4. Man’s Life is the Wolf’s Death
5. Resigned to be Lived
6. The Storm Remains the Same
7. Don’t Leave Me Now (Supertramp Cover)
8. Father’s Will
Lineup:
Javier de Pablo - Vocals
Julio Fernández - Guitars
Ricardo de Pablo - Drums
Miguél Ángel Gutiérrez - Bass
Record Label: Cyclone Empire
     


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