Enigmatic Dutch post-black metal band An Autumn For Crippled Children have been pushing black metal's long-standing flirtation with new wave, shoe gaze, and dreampop to its logical conclusions for over a decade now, garnering a dedicated underground following in niche circles. I've advocated on behalf of the band for their piece of the pie in their recognition as forebears to the genre's exploration of these blurring genre margins, taking things further and getting there faster than the more household names like Deafheaven and Alcest. Broader audiences simply haven't taken notice, likely due to the fact that the band is anonymous and has never intended on playing live, making them a hard sell to would-be labels seeking to advertise and move units.
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It seems to come up every time a new record pops up within the niche that Gorguts, Portal, and Deathspell Omega built; there's not much room left in the sphere of dissonant, atmospheric, and abstract extreme metal due to the limitations of the style. Murk chords and blastbeats can only carry a record for so long (as we've seen with first casualty Plebeian Grandstand), and the novelty is wearing thin. Bands such as Ulcerate and Sunless thrive on the death metal end of the spectrum by offering depth and creative riffing, but black metal has yet to have much success in challenging Deathspell's monolithic reach. Dutch black metallers Dodecahedron are the best bet at carrying the torch into new territory, whose debut five years ago came (from seemingly) out of nowhere and quickly reached cult status. The group, who has significant ties to prog-fusion group Exivious, takes a more overtly progressive and technical approach to the sound, and therefore, into further extremities.
For those who missed our last installment, We post biweekly updates covering what the staff at Heavy Blog have been spinning. Given the amount of time we spend on the site telling you about music that does not fall neatly into the confines of conventional “metal,” it should come as no surprise that many of us on staff have pretty eclectic tastes that range far outside of metal and heavy things. We can’t post about all of them at length here, but we can at least let you know what we’re actually listening to. For those that would like to participate as well (and please do) can drop a 3X3 in the comments, which can be made with tapmusic.net through your last.fm account, or create it manually with topsters.net. Also, consider these posts open threads to talk about pretty much anything music-related. We love hearing all of your thoughts on this stuff and love being able to nerd out along with all of you.
Shamefully, it's still all too easy to allow a new record from Netherland-based black metal enigmas An Autumn For Crippled Children slip by unnoticed. Last year's stellar The Long Goodbye garnered praise on this website, and the radio silence from other outlets sparked a brief think-piece bemoaning how, in a post-Sunbather world, An Autumn For Crippled Children still garner little fanfare despite doing things within the post-black metal genre that are incredibly fascinating, if not groundbreaking in the band's oeuvre of going to such extremes in fusing black metal with bright New Wave and shoegaze melodies. A year later, and we're back at square one: a brand new record, Eternal, unceremoniously dropped into Bandcamp with almost no one talking about it. Never underestimate the power of PR, kids.