Autumn, Altitude, 2009
Dutch band Autumn has been around for quite some years, but this is the first I bought, due to some promising reviews I read. I believe their style has progressed from a more Gothic beginning into the melodic type of (progressive) metal I hear now. Some Gothic elements are still present though. If my memory serves me right, this is the first with singer Marjan Welman. And without knowing their previous output, I would classify her as a find. She sings very convincing. Whether soft or normal, she has a clear warm voice. Oh, and no operatic soprano here.
The songs really let the band shine. Very clever arrangements with interaction between keyboards and guitars, some inventive use of switching time signatures and melodies that suck you into the album. The Hammond here and there is of course a welcome addition.
What I don´t like are the way the guitars are mixed. Some parts lay buried in the mix, making it hard to clearly hear what they are playing. Overall the bass, guitars and keyboards tend to blend into each other to the extend that they sound a little blurred. Much attention goes out to the vocals and the drums, especially snare and kick. But that may be down to taste. The band deliver with the songs, and that is always the most important part.
I think this is a powerful and beautiful album that deserves a wider audience.
Personal play tips: Paradise Nox, Liquid Under Film Noir, Skydancer.