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Registered: 2016-09-05
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Black Autumn / Veldes - Black Autumn / Veldes review


Of the two acts featured on this split, I'm more (but not much more) familiar with Veldes, having reviewed an EP of his, "Skyward", almost exactly 12 months ago as of this time of writing. Perhaps something more than coincidence drew me back to Veldes and this split which introduces Black Autumn, a one-man ambient BM act from Germany, to me. I see on his MA entry that BA has a history stretching back some 20 years with a lengthy discography so I have a lot of catching up to do!

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Well both acts are ambient BM projects so we can expect music that's equal parts aggression and atmosphere that evokes a variety of mostly negative emotions and moods, and Black Autumn does not disappoint with his two offerings. A lonely plaintive introduction that tugs at the heart strings pulls this listener into a raging storm of tough, gritty tremolo guitar shower-falls, cold cloying, suffocating synth drone cover and pounding percussion. For once in the total history of music, the heavy-handed keyboard playing actually works in helping to create a dark smothering, choking world of gloom and negativity. Everyone must flock here to see how muddy production and clunking music can actually create something good and learn something from it. Second track "Tiefland" brings in a creepy organ and dark guitar blues into the dark murky mix of ambient BM / doom that develops into an overwhelming howl of despair with hysterical lead guitar over the percussion clunk.

Veldes' side is dominated by piano playing over a more subdued soundtrack of repetitive depressive tremolo guitar growl and basic percussion. While the actual riffing is good, and the sound is balanced between tough and hard-edged on one hand, and pained on the other, there is far too much monotony over Veldes' half of the split, and not enough attention given to creating and maintaining a distinct atmosphere that would distinguish Veldes in a more general way from atmospheric BM.

If this split is typical of the two acts' styles, then I have to wonder how Black Autumn can have escaped notice for so long. His music here combines dark seething anger, bluesy melancholy and sorrow, and occasional (if all too brief) wistfulness in a very potent and powerful brew. Veldes on the other hand is drowning in too much boring repetition and I'm sorry that his side is eclipsed by a very long shot by Black Autumn.


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