Autumn in My Room - _L'Automne Dans ma Chambre_
by: S. Martin (3 out of 5)
The depressive black metal genre can generally pride itself on its almost angelic passages and repetitive nature, in most cases completely void of aggressive soundscapes; however, this isn't the case with the Vietmanese founded duo, poetically entitled Autumn in My Room.

As one of the only bands to represent the Vietnamese underground, it's kind of expected raw production will become synonymous with their name. Being a depressive black metal band in general, really, it's almost an unwritten prerequisite for DSBM to have a harsh production, but Autumn in My Room is simply beyond the standards of what is classified as harsh, even surpassing most bedroom productions I've heard, the production is in a league of its own; void of bass, or any other equalizing effect besides treble, it stings to listen to, and over time becomes a painful experience, as I'm sure the lyrics convey (they're in other languages).

This small, four track demo is more-or-less what you'd expect from an unheard of act in the seamless waves of depressive black metal; an ambient, or otherwise contrasting piece as an introduction followed by three tracks of depressive material, all of which aren't exactly original or well thought-out, to be perfectly honest. The introduction is a soft piece, however as budget is obvious, it's not an acoustic piece, just a clean electric guitar and some sound effects of rain looping throughout. The guitar sounds almost improvised, perhaps not in a Hypothermia sense, but more a "where the hell am I going with this?" sense. The drum machine, lightly coated in reverb, shows an idea of where the band would like to go with the intro -- though the quality of the track and the actual instrumentation doesn't really allow room for the listener to interpret the track, and it's a really bland introduction to the release.

The following three tracks are, again, what you'd expect. However, as highlighted before -- the production is horrendous. The drum program, the guitar tracks and especially the vocals are all mixed terribly; the sole problem of this album would lie all on the mixing. The riffs, while not innovative in any way, aren't at all terrible, and possibly a real drummer wouldn't hurt, but the lo-fi effects piled upon the final tracks is just too much. Cheap reverb, an undoubtedly free drum program and distortion all piled carelessly upon one another to create the effect which will become known as Autumn in My Room. Even a year later, on their fourth release entitled _Mùa Thu Vô Hình_, it seems they are still to yet abandon this production for something more audibly acceptable, or otherwise enjoyable.

They seem to be going for a romanticized DSBM sound, similar to what you'd find on any Neige release, bar Peste Noire, which isn't at all surprising, with one half of the duo currently in Canada, his natural harmonious passages, as heard in basically every French and Canadian outfit in the past few years, shines through quite well; their riffs incorporate a harmony in and between each passage; though, of course this is contrasted by the production value. The vocals oppose this 'elegant' sound of DSBM by thoughtfully placing tormented screams throughout each track.

Autumn in My Room isn't, by any stretch of the imagination, a great new act. It's caught in the digital age, with the use of a drum program and obvious digital effects it sacrifices a great deal of the emotions it's clearly trying to convey. Perhaps in the future, when they've cleaned up their production we'll hear some great tunes coming from this international duo.


(article published 3/9/2009)

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