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Autumn – Altitude - 98%

frozen_me, February 17th, 2009

Reviewing Autumn’s albums has never been more enjoyable than now. Autumn’s Altitude will literally take you to higher skies and reveal to everyone with an open heart a new world where the pattern is there but you have the colors to shape it to anything you want to. Altitude is a step forward from My New Time (or shall I say a step higher?), following a similar path but this time I must say that the band has overcame themselves! Altitude presents a new voice, the voice of Marjan Welman, who is more than a talented girl, she is charismatic!

Starting with Paradise Nox, one can immediately understand that this album will be groovy, heavy and it’s gonna rock! Heavy and playful guitars by brothers van der Valk, wrapped with prog-like keys from Jan Munnik and accompanied by the dynamic drum-bass combo of Jan Grijpstra and Jerome Vrielink, make the music more solid than ever. Marjan’s voice shines throughout the whole song with interesting vocal lines and a powerful chorus that will stuck to your head for days. Liquid Under Film Noir (Arsonist’s dream) begins with a gothic twist but instantly builds its mysterious sound to something un-labeled. There is also a quieter part in the song with distant riffs and the distinct voice of Marjan taking charge. Next song is Skydancer which we can hear in Autumn’s myspace for a few weeks now. Groovy and straight-forward, with a melodic chorus that will make you sing along for sure. The last turn in Marjan’s vocals reminds me quite a lot of Nienke de Jong’s (former singer) voice in My new Time album. Synchro-Mind is a “power ballad”, starting sweet and softly it progressively reaches to its outbreak. With very emotional vocals, quite melancholic lines and a mixed message, both optimistic and pessimistic, this song is one of my favorites.

The next song, The Heart Demands, follows the path of Satellites and My new Time, catchy, with some spacey keys, but quite heavier than the afore-mentioned tracks. A Minor Dance is a hidden diamond; it caught my attention from the first second! It starts with a familiar tune ( ;-D ) and immediately a obscure, methystic sound unreels in perfect harmony with Marjan’s vocals. Some parts between the chorus and the verses are very interesting, taking you to a slow dance as the song grows faster and reaches its pick at the very end. Cascade (For a Day) is another song where Marjan reminds me of Nienke and Horizon Line was somehow already familiar to me from the Altitude preview in Autumn’s Myspace. Next one is the song which I call the new “State of Mind”; Sulphur Rodents is most likely one of the heaviest tracks. You’ll surely want to head bang at this one! Answers Never Questioned is a pure ballad, very gentle and once again Marjan blew me off with her sweet voice. Last track is Altitude and for me it’s the perfect end as it sums up the album in its diversity. I believe this is a track that all Autumn fans will love.

Altitude! One simple word but it’s definitely not a simple album. This time the guys pushed the sky-limit even higher, bringing music to higher levels in every aspect. The drumming and bass are just amazingly combined (heavier than ever), the keys and piano are not just an addition but a basic element of the music and the guitars are mind-blowing in every riff, simple or complex, fast or slow. Marjan is indeed a rising star, one shiny, heavenly voice that promises many great things for the future and I’m 100% sure about this. In every song, in every minute, one will find something interesting and exciting, with each and every listening.