"Promotional Sampler Compilation" (Dark Symphonies)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

First off, please note that this CD is not available in any stores, is not available by mail order, and is not available for order over the Internet. The fourteen songs contained on the sampler can be found on Autumn Tear's four releases including three full-length CDs and one mini-CD.

Autumn Tears is quite well known in the gothic and darkwave circles for their use of orchestral and symphonic music to convey somber tales.  Unfortunately, the gothic and darkwave circles are quite small and that's where this sampler comes in. Dark Symphonies, the label responsible for bringing Autumn Tears to the world, is right to provide all the exposure to Autumn Tears that it can.

The music of Autumn Tears ranges from the quiet introspection of female voices over simple piano figures, but often the music delves into classical bombast with booming piano and orchestra instruments. The music is often reminiscent of soundtrack music - typically the kind you might hear at the end of a movie after tragedy has struck the protagonist. The music is quite slow with the speed of the music barely getting faster than the average classical piece.

The vocals vary from solo voices to choirs; chanting is also employed which has a near hypnotic effect. The lyrics are difficult to discern given the legato delivery, but many parts sound like spoken word poetry used for dramatic effect. It's easy to see how a group like Autumn Tears is part of the collection of bands that include Tristania, Trail Of Tears, and The Sins Of Thy Beloved even if Autumn Tears doesn't employ heavy guitars or male grunting vocals.

One could easily be lulled into a deep sleep when listening to Autumn Tears as it is somber, yet somehow peaceful. However, don't pass this Autumn Tears off as 'easy listening.' Careful attention and a studious effort will yield many significant rewards.

It's unfortunate that so many different genres get lumped into the metal category, but I've always felt that most heavy metal fans bring a very open mind to music. While everyone may not like Autumn Tears, there are those music lovers that will appreciate Autumn Tears' efforts for carving their own niche in the musical universe. 

Fans of female-fronted metal bands that utilize gothic touches in their music are advised to explore the dark and mysterious realms of Autumn Tears. 

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2001 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 27 Mar 2022 13:58:17 -0500 .