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On disc: Autumn

Altitude - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars


(Metal Blade - 2009)

The Dutch band Autumn was founded in the mid-90's and as so many bands been through some changes. The most significant change was the departure of Nienke de Jong who was replaced by Marjan Welman.
They kick off with Paradise Nox, a heavy rocker with a dash 70's keyboard and vocals which slightly remind me of Anneke van Giersbergen's phrasing. At Liquid Under Film Noir they combine heavy riffs with bombastic keyboard passages and a catchy vocal line. One of my favorits is Skydancer with its varying keyboard sounds. Keyboarder Jan Munnik is giving the song different identities with his keyboard while many keyboardists use the same sound / style on all songs. Well done! The balladesque opening of Synchro-Minds and Marjan's vocals show again some parallels to The Gathering and Anneke van Giersbergen... A beautiful tune, just enchanting! Quite heavy is The Heart Demands, but also has a prominent keyboard which gives the heavy rocker a bombastic edge. After the up-tempo rocker Sulphur Rodents they slow down for Answers Never Questions, another ballad. They close the chapter with the title track Altitude. The rock has balladesque passages, but also heavy riffs to offer. Perhaps this one shows best the different facets of Autumn... of Altitude.
Marjan Welman might not have the charisma of Anneke van Giersbergen, but she is doing far better then many other singers! And everyone who is growing tired of the Angelic voices and operatic singing, but likes the rock songs of The Gathering should give it a try!

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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