An Autumn for Crippled Children

Once upon a time there was a little girl called Goldilocks who went for a walk in the woods to look for  black metal. After a while she stumbled upon a small cabin, and in front of the cabin was a sign that read ‘ATMF Records’. Being a curious child, she entered the cabin, hoping to find some grim and frostbitten black metal. Inside, she found three CDs: Svarti Loghin’s Drifting Into the Void, Nyseius’ Militae and An Autumn For Crippled Children’s Lost.

She played the Svarti Loghin album and exclaimed, “Ugh, that’s too soft! That’s not black metal!” Then she tried the Nyseius CD and cried, “That’s too harsh and been done to death”. And then she put on An Autumn For Crippled Children’s debut album, Lost, and said, “That’s juuuuuust right”. She took 50 Trazadone pills, laid on some stinky bear’s bed and went to sleep forever.

As if you couldn’t tell, writer’s block has set in for me, especially when there’s so much generic black metal currently out and about (Trident, Ov Hell, Ragnarok, Nefarium, Thulcandra, Setherial, Nyseius, Valkyrja, etc.). But, thankfully, a few bands like 1349, Nechochwen, Negură Bunget, Twilight and Dutch trio An Autumn for Crippled Children have kept things interesting.

Culled from the same school of black metal as Agalloch, Alcest, the aforementioned Svarti Loghin, Celestia and such, AAFCC are playing at the more despondent end of the black metal spectrum. They do, however, manage to keep things ‘true’ black metal by injecting lots of fuzzed out aggression.

I’ll admit, I was ready to give up on this during opening track “To Set Sails to the Ends of the Earth”, as I found it a tad dreary, but I became more interested with the song’s melodic climax, which segues into the slightly more urgent “Tragedy Bleeds All Over the Lost”, where the band show they can deliver blastbeats and steady marches with the best of ‘em. “A Dire Faith” is the album’s longest cut at around 8 minutes. It’s a depressive mix of hypnotic, rolling bass lines, delicate strumming and draining harmonies reminiscent of the Finnish doom scene. The harmonies that surface throughout lost — like in tracks “An Autumn for Crippled Children”, “Gaping Void of Silence” and the wilting “I Beg Thee Not to Spare Thee” — are flocked with a black/gray sheen of oppression. But it’s not all droney despondency, as “Ghost Light” and closer “Never Shall Be Again” display a competent grasp of tremolo-picked intensity.

The production is a bit distant and hazy and the vocals are too far off, but it all comes together to make the end result a complete affair. A promising new band in an overly crowded sub-genre.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
May 17th, 2010


  1. Commented by: Brandon Duncan

    Hilarious intro, great review!

  2. Commented by: Jodi

    Excellent review…makes me want to check this out, especially if Goldilocks OD’d after listening to it

  3. Commented by: Cynicgods

    That Goldilocks story is one of the funniest intros for a review I’ve ever read. Hope you get writer’s block more often, Erik. :P

  4. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    stuff is wicked.

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