Only The Ocean Knows by An Autumn For Crippled Children (A Sad Sadness Song / ATMF Records)
The folks at A Sad Sadness Song sure know how to unleash the very best within the underground metal arena. The world at large was introduced to the sweeping cinematic reveries of Aquilus earlier in the year when the masterwork Griseus was conceived. And now An Autumn For Crippled Children has returned, unleashing their most magnificent and melancholic effort to date. Entitled Only The Ocean Knows, this collective from the Netherlands has compiled eight depressive yet wildly inspired doom metal hymns that remain within your psyche long after the disc spins to its dire conclusion. Defining what sheer artistry means in the vast and wonderful world of metal, Only The Ocean Knows by An Autumn For Crippled Children will be known as a classic by all whom encounter its thrilling refrains.
Only The Ocean Knows opens with the swirling interpretations of Past Tense, a mighty effort where one imagines the early works of The Cure and Echo And The Bunnymen transfixed with the sinister harmonics of the very best Black Metal has to offer. Extremely melodic yet desolate in scope, this first attack is sure to grab all adventurous music enthusiasts by the throat. This is progressive music in its finest hour.
Yes I Know… Love And Death… Always continues the journey into the darkness of the mind, the atmospheric reveries and super intensive vocals are sure to stun the senses of even the most critical. This Garden These Trees is haunting and inventive, with its vibrant bass tones and hypnotic guitars creative a wondrous kaleidoscope of bleakness and intrigue.
In February is both lush and somber at the start, and then the chilling vocals chime in to render the composition a devastating affair. The title cut Only The Ocean Knows is grand and opulent, while retaining an intensity that sends the effervescent piece into the stratosphere.
The First Snow This Year is a picturesque and austere as the title would suggest, where the visions of a cold winter meets the expansive soundscapes of the best doom metal has to offer. Uncureable is distinct and grandiose, with an imaginative mix of post alternative beats, magical keyboards, and stark vocals. Then closing out Only The Ocean Knows is The Rising Tide, with its cosmic grooves and fiery incantations leaving a lingering impression.
Only The Ocean Knows by An Autumn For Crippled Children is a dark musical gem for the ages – an adventure in sound that will set the imagination in flight. Those who go out of their way to experience this tour de force of opulence and invention will never forget it. One of the best metal releases of 2012!
(Review by Kenneth Morton)