Review: Autumn – Cold Comfort

 Dutch band Autumn release their fifth studio album Cold Comfort via Metal Blade records on 8th November. This female fronted band formed in 1995 and have seen their fair share of line up changes. Unlike fellow countrymen Within Temptation, Autumn have a much more stripped down sound, less of the symphonic and more of the organic.

Vocalist Marjan Welman has a very crisp and clean voice, her vocals are strong but feminine. A stark contrast to the grinding guitar work from Jens van der Valk and Mats van der Valk. However this all fits with the progressive and often despondent tone of the tracks.

This isn’t all prog though, and that’s what I’m liking about this album. Take opening track The Scarecrow for example, which has some nice old school riffs reminiscent of NWOBHM band Runestaff (remember them?!), the ethereal feel of Alloy reminds me of Nightwish. And there are more similarities with other non-prog bands through the album. There are many influences here which make this an interesting and enjoyable album to listen to.

This is Marjan’s second album with the band and she’s really staking her claim with the band with the vocals on this album, there’s a real feel that she is taking control and growing into her role at the front of the band. Female-fronted metal bands take a lot of stick, and it’s great to see a female vocalist getting stronger and fighting against the negativity. This could be more metal, it could be heavier, it could be grittier, it could be a bit more rough around the edges, but, it’s still pretty darn good.

Cold Comfort by Autumn is released on Metal Blade on 8th November 2011

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