Autumn Tears - _LPfDC Act II: The Garden of Crystalline Dreams_
(Dark Symphonies, 1997)
by: Pedro Azevedo (9 out of 10)
"Melancholic beauty" is one of the descriptions used in Autumn Tears' publicity, and it's a damn good one - this second act of _Love Poems for Dying Children_ is something to be enjoyed and absorbed as well as listened to. No metal instrumentation here, only keyboards and vocals; if you're wondering why I rated this album and not Elend's (CoC #19), it's because I had to start rating these albums as well... Both this one and Elend's _Les Tenebres du Dehors_ deserve a 9 out of 10, a rating that is not meant to be compared with metal albums' ratings. Autumn Tears presents a beautiful, gloomy, emotional experience based on Ted's keyboards and Erika's voice. Ted manages to create effective atmospheric effects and very good melodic bases for Erika to lay her voice upon, and what a voice! Erika is indeed an extraordinarily talented singer, performing from spoken vocals (which Ted also performs) to remarkable melodic parts (I must mention "Commiseration in Mourning"), and, get ready for this, a black metal voice. Yes, Erika is, of course, a female, but the black vocals she does are nothing short of great - sort of a whispered raspy voice, spoken, never showing it's a female who's doing it. This is by no means the so-called "background music," it's less ambient than before, but highly atmospheric, and much better in what concerns melody, arrangements, and general quality - in fact, it's easily superior to their debut album. From the intro, to the great melodies in every track, to the striking appearance of Deceit's voice in the end of track 6, to the powerful finale, this is a highly interesting and involving piece of music. Everything seems to have been well taken care of, and the result is a very well done album worth being listened to. I hope there's a third act being planned.

(article published 12/8/1997)

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