Reviewing this album is a Herculean task. Wait don’t strop off muttering “bloody net reviews with their freebies moaning”! This is no “ugh I have to put myself through THIS?!!” cry for pity. I really like this band. Well to say that is a bit moot. It is not the band that I like. It is the glorious noise they make. I know little about them save for the fact that they are from the Netherlands, there are three of them and they have silly three letter names. One undisputable fact about them is that the delicious music they make enters my brain and spreads calm and tranquillity like a toasted marshmallow on a choccie biccie. Possibly not the simile that AAFC were going for on their 9threlease but so what. What this soporific effect means is that every time I try to put finger to keyboard or pen to paper I drift off into a ………………………..shit! There I go. This is not an album that I am prepared to break down into bite size chunks and critique. Eternal , like all AAFC work is best devoured whole, allowing oneself to be removed from the real world and placed in one where ethereal , angelic melodies marry harsh depressingly uplifting vocals. These guys have been around for only 8 years but with such a work rate, helped by the fact they do not play live, there is plenty of recorded material for folks to make up their mind about their particular blend of Blackgaze.
Last year saw them release the album “The Long Goodbye” and the awesome “Portugal” EP both of which have remained regulars in my lugholes. Eternal will be no different. As with the aforementioned releases “Eternal” is filled with sweeping synthesised melodies straight out of early synth pop, moody otherworldly shoegaze passages and bleak yet soaring DBM vocals. There is an overwhelming positivity to the music even when it appears MXM is on the verge of a breakdown (the nervous kind not the hardcore kind). There is a track entitled “This small space you occupied is so empty now”. Pretentious hey? Bloody hipsters etc etc. No. The title itself is a poem and describes loss beautifully and heartbreakingly .
An Autumn For Crippled Children offer angst and heartache for adults without the need to package it in Hot Topic/ Attitude Clothes and give it a subculture. They help me get through bad days and add extra texture to good ones. Can you ask any more of any artist?
(9/10 Matt Mason)