An Autumn For Crippled Children: The Long Goodbye

Wistful black metallers lose touch with the source

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Reclusive Dutch trio An Autumn For Crippled Children continue to explore the now well-established fraternisation of shoegaze and black metal on fifth full-length The Long Goodbye, a record with the tough job of following up 2013’s Try Not To Destroy Everything You Love.

It does so by altering trajectory slightly, its eponymous opener replacing the previous album’s all-encompassing swells of synth with the ever-present buzz of caustic guitar.

Giving the keyboards room to experiment diversifies their sonic palette, providing a twinkling lead in the track’s denouement, accompanied by an atypically rabid black metal drum beat rendered toothless by the removal of the snare drum, in a moment that encapsulates the effete, introspective fragility the music expresses, and how much that differs from the movement’s traditional primacy.

A warm swell of guitar ignites the wistful, key-lead introduction of Only Skin, one of several emotive highlights dotted throughout the melancholic haze of a record that is bound to satiate lovers of Alcest and Deafheaven, but lacks the genre-defining qualities of either./o:p