The Dutch band get truly experimental on this latest record, so don’t expect run-of-the-mill black metal with light shoegaze influence. While only made up of three members, An Autumn for Crippled Children create a sound that truly feels vast and expansive, sometimes creating a sense of dread in the listener, and other times lulling us into a false sense of security with lilting melodies.
“Missed,” the first track on the record, hits right away with miserable, churning vocals, strong guitars, and even some prog influence. “This Feels Like Dying” is definitely my favorite track on the album. It sets the tone for the second half of the record and has a rising sound that I really respond to as it crescendos. In my opinion, the best shoegaze is epic and building even if it’s sorrowful and dark, and this track really nails that hard-to-pin-down combination. “Where Pain Begins” is another solid offering particularly because of the drums, which almost remind me of an EDM programmed offering, in the very best way possible.
Meanwhile, “For Tomorrow” stands out for its brutality. In all honesty, this one almost sounds out of place next to some of the other melodies by jolting the listener out of a haze, albeit in a wonderful way. It’s here that the third section of the record begins, bringing the album to a crashing close that as its title suggests, offers to provide some measure of closure. As an album closer, “Here Comes Sorrow” is progressive and meandering. And while it’s definitely a happy ending, it deftly brings everything together at the end, blending the album’s apparent influences.
Fans of progressive, shoegaze-influenced black metal who aren’t afraid of the darker and weirder sides of those genres should definitely check Closure out. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but those who do resonate with it will likely come back to it again and again.
An Autumn for Crippled Children’s Closure is available now via Prosthetic Records. You can pick up a copy wherever you get your music.
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