Autumn’s Dawn is a two man Australian depressive rock/black metal band who released their debut EP back in April of this year. Now they are back with their debut album,”Gone, ” released on the Eisenwald record label.
Although Autumn’s Dawn is a new band, it’s two members are not new to the metal community. Tim Yatras (drums, guitar, vocals), aka Sorrow, is also a member of Germ and Blackened Angel, and some of the bands he was previously in are Austere, Woods of Desolation and Grey Water. Matthew Bell (guitars, keyboards, bass), aka Anguish, also plays for Bane of Isildur, Troldhaugen, and previously was in Folkearth and Folkodia.
While this album was downloading to my iPod, I started to prepare myself for a depressive listening experience, because with song titles such as ‘Blank Stare, Dead Eyes,’ ‘Until My Heart Corrodes With Rust,’ and ‘When the Sun Sets for the Last Time,’ you don’t get images of rainbows and butterflies floating around in your head.
Fearing the worst, I pushed play on my iPod to start the opening track, ‘The Ashes of Life,’ and my jaw hit the floor from what I discovered. This song was an upbeat Indie-rock song with clean vocals. Hardly what I would call depressive metal. Oh no! Did I receive the wrong album? Calm down Patrick, let’s listen to the next song. ‘Until My Heart Corrodes with Rust’ still maintains the upbeat tempo and clean vocals, but it takes a step closer to the dark side by contributing harsh vocals and shrieking screams.
‘Into the Cold’ is an instrumental track, with heavily layered guitars to give it that “wall of sound” feel, with the lead guitar riffing front and center. ‘Grace of the Grave’ continues to use both clean and harsh vocals, and even though the “wall of sound” was still in effect, I was headbanging to the monster bass line and the soaring guitar solos.
‘When the Sun Sets for the Last Time’ starts with calming mellow guitar strumming and a prominent bass drum, until halfway through when I was caught off guard by explosive guitar riffs and frenzied screams. And just when you think Autumn’s Dawn is going to go nuclear, they regain their composure and revert back to a tranquil setting. This is the first time on this album I thought that the clean vocals complimented the harsh vocals perfectly. ‘Blank Stare, Dead Eyes’ is a standout track for the guitars, with excellent placement of Anguish‘s piano. Which brings me to the last two songs, which in my opinion are the best.
‘Through the Rusted Gates of Time’ drags you down to the deepest depths of depression, with Sorrow‘s jagged vocals and agonizing screams. Bravo to the atmospheric guitars riffs and drum blast beats, which make this a frightening track. The title track, ‘Gone,’ is the crown jewel of the whole album. Since the first time I heard its emotion, this song has haunted me. The lyrics, combined with Sorrow‘s soft clean vocals and the blood-curdling screams, tells the story of the end of a relationship in the final stages, where you ask yourself “Why isn’t this person still with me, and what did I do that was so wrong that made him/her leave?” A very powerful song that almost brought a tear to my eye.
Overall, “Gone” has been my hardest album to review. I enjoyed the roaring layered guitar wall of sound, and when featured, the solos were a highlight. I didn’t have to strain my eardrums to hear the mammoth-sized bass line, which I always love. The drums are not always challenging, but they fit quite nicely in the song structures. The lyrics have everything you want in a depressive rock album: despair, helplessness, and abandonment. My major complaint is, I’m not a huge fan of the clean clear vocals for this style of metal, and that’s going to be the big debate for this album. But when the tempo slowed in the second half of the album, my frown turned upside down, with the emergence of the rough raspy vocals. So go check out “Gone,” because I’m interested to find out what everyone else’s opinion about this style of depressive metal will be.