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All Fell Silent, Everything Went Quiet by An Autumn For Crippled Children (Prosthetic Records)

All Fell Silent, Everything Went Quiet by An Autumn For Crippled Children (Prosthetic Records)

All Fell Silent, Everything Went Quiet by An Autumn For Crippled Children (Prosthetic Records)

An Autumn For Crippled Children’s eighth full length in 10 years, All Fell Silent, Everything Went Quiet is seemingly louder, harsher, the drums busier with more blast beats. While a new album from the Netherlands trio is always something to look forward to, the overstuffed mix heard here isn’t as welcome to these ears as it might have been in the past.

Strip back the guitar and synth noise and you’ll find a band interested in hope and beauty and melody with melancholy thrown in, but on All Fell Silent they seem to want to deface their own positive qualities with even more distortion and overcompression than on previous albums, making these songs a difficult listen. On previous albums they’ve shown us what they can do with more open arrangements, even coming close to something catchy and accessible. Check out Blossoms from 2013, Eternal Youth off Eternal or A New Hope from The Light of September to hear what the trio can do without all the smothering noise.

But don’t expect the trio to ever bow to anyone else’s wishes. They’re a singular band, forever evolving and trying new ways of expression in their instrumental deliveries, building uneasy yet melodic epics buried under synth washes and guitar distortion. AAFCC want you to FEEL, to experience catharsis, to free yourself of anger and frustration and in so doing, replace those uneasy feelings with joy and love.

All Fell Silent, Everything Went Quiet begins with strident drums and soothing guitars and synths on I Became You before pouring on the noise and distortion. The screeched/growled vocals are deep in the mix adding another layer of abrasiveness along with blast beats and tinny snare hits.

Water’s Edge also begins quite pleasantly with an inviting guitar progression. There’s a lovely keyboard melody deep in the mix that’s finally given room to breathe as the listener does as well, the trio slowly build up tension and keeps the mix open for pretty guitar and bass interplay in the middle third.

Everlasting contains a dramatic guitar motif and powerful keyboard melodies amongst the cymbals and drum bashing.

Silver opens with an uplifting guitar melody as blast beats explode into the speakers, strings flutter and soar through as the noise drops out creating a soothing versus abrasive dynamic.

The title track begins with a mystery to it, like early melancholic The Cure and has tremolo picking in the second half to remind you of AAFCC’s Black Metal influences.

All Fell Silent, Everything Went Quiet closes with Distance. A positive chord progression and percussive piano playing are joined by powerful bass and stirring drums, with the occasional blast beat. An inspiring way to end a challenging album.

An Autumn For Crippled Children is:
Mchl: Vocals/Guitar/Keys
Td: Bass/Keys
Chr: Drums/Keys

(Review by Bret Miller)

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