Review: The Long Goodbye, An Autumn For Crippled Children

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Imagine a long, cold, painful night. The wind howls through bony trees, the frigid air gnaws through any clothing you huddle beneath, and shelter is nothing more than a delusion, mocking you just past arm’s reach. Far off lights only illuminate the impossible stretch between you and any sort of relief. It seems impossible, but you hold out the faintest hope that you just may last until dawn. The darkness cuts deep, poisoning every part of your body, and you abandon hope. Just when you are ready to slip away into the great beyond, a frail, purplish wound appears on the horizon.

“The dawn, the blessed dawn,” you croak. Your hope skyrockets, and you are invigorated. However, the more you stare, the more the growing light looks…sick. Rather than a reddish, warm glow, you see a throbbing, feverish burn. Instead of welcomed heat and bright relief, you feel a nauseating chill. It is the dawn, but it is not the hope you’ve been waiting for. A day is breaking that offers no sanctuary; the dawn is infected with a reminder that it will be night again, and nothing more.

An Autumn For Crippled Children is not the long, torturous night. Their brand of deeply depressing, shoe-gazing post-black metal is the false, sickly dawn that was only mockingly hopeful before burdening the heart and soul of the listener. Deep hues of purple, blue, and yellow wash over and mix with waves of reverb, fuzz, and mournful synths. AAFCC has a knack for utilizing and framing major tonalities in a way that strips them of their usual cheerfulness and replaces it with a lonely, hollow sadness. The true-to-form black metal vocals add a layer of anguish to the whole package, twisting and turning in the wash of sound and providing the perfect channel for all the feels you ever felt.

This mysterious Dutch trio has been nothing if not prolific since their 2009 inception, constantly inspiring idiot bloggers to write massively overblown review introductions. While they no longer play live, 2015 will be the fifth straight year of new music, with four out of those five seeing a new full length. The Long Goodbye is due for a February 23rd release via the newly formed Wickerman Recordings. The new album features an excellently paced tradeoff between synth and guitar dominance, with an general step up in the vocal presence when compared to previous releases. The overall balance gives a little more breathing room to the guitars, which in turn gives an extra boost of fuzzy, hazy fullness to the overall sound. We’re not missing the keys by any means, but “The Long Goodbye,” the title track that kicks off the album, is a bold and excellent statement of guitar presence throughout the bulk of the album.

Balance is a key concept throughout The Long Goodbye, providing welcomed opportunities to discover new layers upon repeated listening. “When Night Leaves Again,” one of my immediate favorites, contains some of the busier drumming on the album. Though buried beneath mountains of sonic color, a pursuit of that sound yields the listener interesting tonal shifts that didn’t come across at first, or the bass sitting in a register that was initially disguised. The song reaches a fever pitch at the pounding of eighth notes in the last section, with all elements at maximum capacity while still maintaining equilibrium. Similarly, the bass/synth/guitar counterpoint in the outro of “She’s Drawning Mountains” showcases an excellent balance and weaving of textures, skillfully capping off a song that began with a stripped down, contrasting intro. Oh, and take some time to dive into the buried synth lines in the last minute or so of “Endless Skies.” Balance and layers, man, balance and layers. While the interjections that shook up the pacing of Try Not To Destroy Everything You Love and Only the Ocean Knows aren’t as present, the more purposeful construction beneath the music more than supports an excellent album’s worth of material.

For fans of An Autumn For Crippled Children, The Long Goodbye won’t be a surprising or exciting change of pace, but it will be satisfying. Deep introspection, permeating emotion, and the urge to look at your shoes for a long time are par for the course for AAFCC. For all the bombast of my introduction, it should be noted that this isn’t a game-changing album to take the metal world by storm, overthrow everything you thought you know, or whatever else your average album promo says these days. Wickerman Recordings hit the nail on the head when they described The Long Goodbye, as “another lesson of eerie yet sophisticated art…An Autumn for Crippled Children are about to raise an even more surrounding atmosphere, within their usual vibe.” These guys are dialing in their knack for enveloping the listener on this, another great release from a consistently great band.

NO FLUSH

Preorder the album here through Wickerman Recordings

Stream “Converging Towards the Light” and “Only Skin” here

(Photo VIA)

 

 

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  • Soviet Tapir

    Hmmm, dis sounds tasty.

    • dad!!!

      • Soviet Tapir

        I knew you were Finnish! Join us brother!

  • CyberneticOrganism

    Sounds very cool.

  • Nice review Stackhossen, I look forward to listening to this one once I get home. Has anyone heard Caina’s Setter of Unseen Snares? After the flushworthy intro track it’s some pretty jammin post-black metal or whatever.

    • Kim Jong Un’s Turkish Snowcone

      Nope, but link me up and I’ll check it out after this.

    • Some post-black stuff just completely loses me. I was hyped when I saw the album art, but it lost me about halfway through.

      • i’m sure someone will create post-power someday… (actually i would def give that a shot!)

      • KimJongUn’s Dingleberry Smoke

        Same. I love shoegaze, and love black metal, but very few can pull the formula off without one outweighing the other. Alcest (to some degree) and Agalloch pulled it off, but Deafheaven to me sounded like a half-assed My Bloody Valentine ripoff with some black metal vocals on top. The Long Goodbye though definitely pulls it off perfectly.

    • Max

      Somebody should start a black metal band called Mixer of Unheard Snares.

  • Kim Jong Un’s Turkish Snowcone

    LOVING this so far!!! Kinda like Slowdive or Honey Dip with some Ihsahn style vocals. Definitely has that ‘wall of sound’ thing going, ala shoegaze. Pretty much what Deafheaven aimed for and failed at.

  • Whaaaaaaaat. This is RAD.

    • Stockhausen

      Seaux many feels, man.

  • EsusMoose

    didn’t even know they were releasing an album and this time it’s not pink! How will I know that it’s still “pink metal” kvlt people like to hate on

  • Nordling Rites ov BDSM

    I could approve of this. I could.

    • Nordling Rites ov BDSM

      Hell, I will.

  • Tyree

    Hmm…

  • this is some good jimma-jam, Stocky my son
    http://media.salon.com/2001/01/karlheinz_stockhausen.jpg

    • Stockhausen

      Ahhh…the good old days.

  • OOH! YAS! These guys I have heard of! Thanks for the great review and the heads up, Stockhausen.

    • Stockhausen

      Yeah dude!

  • Tyree

    Cripple children with grind bastards.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHCuFP_VCFo

    • See, I was thinking something a little more along these lines…
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSzRxhQJ_bc

      • Tyree

        Wow, Pittsburgh based death grinders. I have not heard these guys in years. Brutal shit duder.

        Update: Wasn’t their last album done by Scott Hull?

        • Scrimm

          Mastered I believe.

          • Tyree

            Aw, gottcha.

        • KimJongUn’s Dingleberry Smoke

          Talked to him way back when (2003) about an interview, but he was going through some shit with finances and whatnot. Nice guy and excellent band, but haven’t kept up since.

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    ————

    all 3 at once-1st vid 50%vol–2nd vid50%vol–3rd vid 100%vol

    http://youtu.be/IKxlphJWS48

    http://youtu.be/T5DnqW3F57E

    http://youtu.be/_SakitCoNYc

    • Tyree

      You big dummy!

      • KimJongUn’s Dingleberry Smoke

        Lemont!

  • #banrandall Jim

    This is music that I dig mightily.

  • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

    This stirs the ice around my soulbuttz. Kudos the fine review!

  • YourLogicIsFlushed

    My fingers are numb from typing proposals for 7 consecutive hours, but I will fight through the pain to tell you that this band is awesome and you are awesome. Hooray for new discoveries!

    • Stockhausen

      Wooo! Thanks bud, punch those proposals with your fingers.

      • CT-12

        Didn’t know these guys were coming out with a new album, thanks for the heads up!

  • BASEDBEARD

    O wait, I’m too drunk to read. Dis great news.

    • BASEDBEARD

      Also OT: New reads arrived today

      • Scrimm

        Reads are good. I just started my favorite series again

        • BASEDBEARD

          Elaborate?

          • Scrimm

            Incredible horror/sci-fi/spy saga. I hate vampires, but this guy completely reinvents them until they are awesome, just comeplete monsters.Forget everything you’ve ever read about them. http://www.brianlumley.com/books/necroscope/

          • BASEDBEARD

            Because aforementioned, give me tomorrow to look at it broscrimm

          • Scrimm

            Of course, man have fun with that.. I like seeing people reading, probably the only thing I enjoy as much or more than my metal is my books.

          • BASEDBEARD

            The more we talk, the more I see we have middle ground. I try to set records for my books/year. 2013 has the record for about ~30, depending on what you count.

            The thing is, I’m not a big sci-fi guy (ST:TNG excepting). I’m the high fantasy, sword & shield type.

          • Scrimm

            That’s good man. I don’t read as much as I should lately. I’m not big on sci-fi either, that particular series just has enough intrinsically that it might appeal enough to people who are fans of it. It is way more horror. I used to devour a ton of fantasy, but no so much the past few years. I always wanted to write myself and since I started seriously trying I drifted almost completely to the horrific side of things.

          • BASEDBEARD

            Well, we wont go into the psyche side of things. I’ll look at it tomorrow, man.

          • Scrimm

            Awesome. Now I must go start drinking myself.

          • BASEDBEARD

            Has fun playing catchup scrug, already working on burritos

          • KimJongUn’s Dingleberry Smoke

            What’s your opinion of audiobooks? I have a couple I can slide your way.

          • BASEDBEARD

            I need a physical copy, KJU. Its the nerd in me.

          • KimJongUn’s Dingleberry Smoke

            Feel ya on that. Audiobooks, if properly done, make it a bit easier for me, especially since it gets rather noisy around here. Last physical copy I read was Marco Pierre White’s ‘Devil In The Kitchen’. Read that on the bus and plowed through the whole thing in two days. Amongst us chefs, he is a god amongst mortal men (and the man who made Gordon Ramsay cry).

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_xgpAwGv1A

          • KJM

            I can’t read in moving vehicles. I get really bad motion sickness. : (

          • KimJongUn’s Dingleberry Smoke

            BTW, I’d highly recommend ‘Escape From Camp 14’. Pretty short but brutal read, and it’s the one that got me interested in North Korea before the whole ‘The Interview’ debacle.

          • Scrimm

            Probably the best thing about living in AZ is the burrito shacks you can hit late at night after hours of drinking and smoking.

          • Lacertilian

            @disqus_kqxyUNPxty:disqus mentioned you got him onto The Terror, I looked into it and was intrigued but my backlog of books I want to read is longer than my ‘watch later’ list on YouTube.
            Time to advance the cloning research I say.

          • Scrimm

            So many good books. The Terror is really good but it is a deeeep read.

          • KimJongUn’s Dingleberry Smoke

            What ones are you on now? I’m yet to get around to the ones I ordered for Christmas (John O’Brien ‘Better’ and Gabriel Garcia Marquez ‘The Autumn Of The Patriarch’).

          • Scrimm

            My book reading has taken a sharp downturn since the creation of the toilet. Only bad thing about this place. I used to be 1-2 novels a week. I must do better.

  • Dagon

    Pausing my Vinterbris for this. It better be good, dead guy.

  • VVayne Brady

    Stockhausen rides a hoveround.

    Nah, I jest. Dis am good review.

    • BASEDBEARD

      Dis rel gud

  • JvRv

    “…the dawn is infected with a reminder that it will be night again, and nothing more.”

    The Toilet ov Hell, where the articles themselves are as artistic (and often beautiful) as the music contained therein.

    • BASEDBEARD

      I wouldn’t be here otherwise.

      • KimJongUn’s Dingleberry Smoke

        Likewise. This is a place to catch up on jams I’d never know about before, talk about jams many of us know, rib on another while still having fun and no offense, and here and there, talk about personal things with an open ear (it definitely got me through some of the things I went through recently). In short, it’s just a place to chill, talk music, laugh your ass off and have a good time, far different from other metal pages I’ve been to. It’s like metal’s answer to Late Late Night With Craig Ferguson and a decent bar where everyone knows each other.

        • BASEDBEARD

          TOH = Craig Ferguson?

        • Scrimm

          Well said.

        • InfinityOfThoughts

          Fearless Leader, I could not have said it better.

          • KimJongUn’s Dingleberry Smoke

            I honestly haven’t had any problems with anyone here, to be honest. I wish Conan would come back at some point, but who knows? Only troll/idiot I’ve seen here all this time was that ‘Bob’ moron and one other guy who went all out Westboro Baptist Church mode, but neither of those lasted long. Comparing this to the rampant homophobia, racism, and misogyny of other metal websites (which I won’t won’t bother wasting typing space or words on), it’s a breath of fresh air. I’m not exactly PC myself, but there’s a point where I notice some people are simply born to be assholes on many metal forums.

    • Pagliacci is Kvlt O)))

      More than ever now I want to spend a cold, dark evening huddling (and cuddling) under sparse clothing in a crude shelter with Stockhausen until we succumb to the “throbbing, feverish burn.”

  • JvRv

    I love you guys

  • This is absolutely amazing. Instant purchase.

    • BASEDBEARD

      I’ve been lookin thru my catalogue bc i dont want to buy something i already own

  • Tyrant Lizard King

    The introduction to this article is great, kind of overhyped the music though

  • BASEDBEARD

    It’s one giant sheet of ice here in the fucking mountains

    • BASEDBEARD

      Bonus: we ain’t working today