Female fronted bands seem to take a lot of shit from the metal press and metal fans in general. Tags of “girly” or “pussy-metal” and other ‘nice’ phrases are generally slurred at any band with a pretty face fronting it, as if to have real metal cred a band needs to have a dirty unshaven brute screaming his lungs out.
This attitude is of course stupid, but I’m sure Autumn has heard it all before. The band has been around for a while now, and in fact “Cold Comfort” is album number 5 in the band’s discography. I am not too familiar with their past work prior to this album, but I do know that at one point the band had another singer prior to their current one Marjan Welman.
The first thing that I do want to say about this album is that it is not in fact very heavy, so those of you looking for Arch Enemy or even Nightwish can stop right here. “Cold Comfort” could best be described as a heavy rock album with some goth style overtones, kind of like a slightly mellower version of Lacuna Coil.
So, how is “Cold Comfort”? Well, in actual fact it’s not half-bad at all. I would personally would describe it as a catchy album that I would want to listen to when I want to take a break from something heavier.
Singer Marjen Welman is definitely talented and it can’t be disputed that she is Autumn‘s main strength, as she has such a beautiful, yet powerful voice that brings such emotion to all of the songs. This is not to say that the rest of the musicians are bad, it’s just that Marjen’s voice is what makes Autumn noticeable in a sea of female fronted metal bands. The other thing I like about the band is that they tend to go from soft to harder sounds back and forth which really makes Marjen‘s voice shine.
The first half of the album is undoubtedly the strongest half with the first four songs being very hooky yet extremely pensive at the same time. The album starts with ‘The Scarecrow’. Sad sounding guitars come out of the speakers and Marjen‘s croons mournfully “we were lovers you and I” before the song takes off with crunchy guitars and back into soft territory again. ‘The Scarecrow’ is the best song on the entire album and begs for repeat listens.
Other highlights are the album’s title track ‘Cold Comfort’ which again uses similar heavy to soft dynamics and has an absolutely beautiful chorus. ‘Retrospect’ which is probably the hardest song on the album also deserves mention for showing that Autumn can play slightly heavier songs a la Lacuna Coil when it wants to.
While not up to the level of quality of Lacuna Coil‘s latest album, “Cold Comfort” is still a pretty good album that hopefully finds the band some commercial success.