All Fell Silent, Everything Went Quiet by An Autumn For Crippled ChildrenRelease date: May 1, 2020
Label: Prosthetic Records
An Autumn For Crippled Children is a band that has always floated around my sphere of vision, but one which I have never given enough depth. When album number eight came in for review I saw the perfect opportunity to immerse myself enough to try and describe what I found. On All Fell Silent, Everything Went Quiet the mysterious Dutch three piece somehow weld Joy Division inspired sounds to black metal, it shouldn’t work but it really does.
There is no ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ guitar hook and the vocals are far from comprehensible, but the drums carry a sound which is rich in the early 90’s fallout from the 80’s heavy synth sounds. Imagine Joy Division replace Ian Curtis with a black metal vocalist and then followed suite with the drummer, but retained their original recording aesthetics. While this is nothing new for the band they have still produced an album where nothing is repeated.
There are some tracks which really stand out and I was especially drawn to second song ‘Water’s Edge’ which had a hypnotic drum beat that I found to lie near to 90’s happy hardcore, it really could have appeared on a Technohead single. The beauty is the way it then fits in with the gloriously dripping vocals and the synths which overrule the shoegazy guitar to drag the song into the gutter before lifting off for the stratosphere. The absolute stand out for me was ‘Paths’ as the start of the song gives no indication of where you are going to be taken. The drums are absolutely pummelling, but with that subdued layer of 80/90s effect and the synths soar whilst the guitar rips in a not too distant second place.
There is a great intensity and pace to the album with songs flying straight out of the traps and just pummelling along. Although there are so many constants the music isn’t repetitive and as you thrust from one song to the next there is a clear distinction of that song change. This is a masterful exhibition of mixing extremes at a high pace yet not coming over as repetitive or a gimmick. I am looking forward to finding out whether the last seven albums are just repeats or whether that same agility is as organic as it feels here.