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Autumn Is A Bleak Season. - 60%

Perplexed_Sjel, October 28th, 2007

There are many bands out there who aptly name their full-length records, Autumnblaze are no different to anyone else. Their second full-length 'Bleak' is aptly titled and sums up the content of the record extremely well. Depressive rock is a new genre to me and because of my avid interest in depressive music, the genre had an instant appeal to me.

As one might expect, Autumnblaze play a fairly mellow form of rock music, which is quite depressive in sound, funnily enough. It's sorrowful guitars are exquisitely beautiful, and yet quite haunting alongside the emotive vocals which often resort to almost softly spoken words. They do have their moments when they explode into a melodious fury of massive proportions. Both instruments and vocals work harmoniously together.

When the music goes through it's soft stages, the vocals are generally soft themselves. Again, resorting to almost spoke word to portray the lyrical themes which depict both love and sadness. When the music begins to pick up the pace, the vocals do the same. They transform into a more forceful tone, shifting back and forth from a more mellow form, to a more aggressive form, much like the music does, as aforementioned.

In my opinion, Autumnblaze's style suited the softer approach far more than the harsher style, this is perfectly shown in songs such as; 'And We Fall', 'So Close Yet So Far' and 'Scared'. However, Autumnblaze's repetitive approach of starting off as a mellow melancholic outfit, and then transforming into a harsher outfit doesn't suit them. The aforementioned track, 'Scared' is a great example of this.

The subtle tones and textures are fantastic, but the song is ruined by it's progression into mediocrity. The far more raw sound doesn't suit the vocals during this period. The louder and far more expressive guitars become overbearing. They detract from the sheer beauty that the vocals create. Autumnblaze would be far better off if they stuck to portraying their emotions through melancholic music.

Despite the repetitive form, Autumnblaze do incorporate some level of creativity into their work. The sections which display the emotive side to the bands music in a sorrowful way are dynamic without being overly forceful. The harder and harsher sections seemingly try too hard to achieve something that simply isn't pulled off.

'Bleak' is one of those albums which could easily be loved or hated, in my case, I will sit on the fence. I enjoy it in parts and dislike it in others. It's a case of being a tale of two halves again, which is unfortunate because 'Bleak' does contain some very promising moments of sorrow, sadness and sombre feelings.