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Review: Autumn - Stacking Smoke
Stacking Smoke

Label: Painted Bass Records
Year released: 2019
Duration: 56:53
Tracks: 11
Genre: Gothic Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: June 7, 2019
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Stacking Smoke

Rated 2.67/5 (53.33%) (3 Votes)

Hard to believe it's been 10 years since Altitude, and 8 years since this band's last release, the tepid Cold Comfort. On the one hand, I absolutely love some of this band's output, and especially the voice of singer Marjan Welman, on the other, they have been slipping farther away from a metal sound, and their last album was disappointing, so I was not sure what we would get here.

This album gets back some of the snappy songwriting of earlier albums like My New Time, mostly avoiding the slow, dragging arrangements of their last disc. There is some heaviness to be found here, though not as much as I would like. The major draw is the smooth, superlative voice of Welman, who I cannot possibly say enough good things about. Her warm, honeyed tone is as lovely as ever, and her phrasing and vocal melodies are spot-on. Songs like "Old Fuel", "Blackout" and "Cyanide Sky" flash hooks as good as anything this band has done and are exactly what I wanted.

That said, the album is not all gold. On the second half, after "Where the River Ends", the songwriting loses momentum, and just never really gets it back. Marjan still sounds amazing, and I love her voice so much I want to forgive all faults, but I simply can't. If you liked Altitude, then this is a disc you will enjoy, but it's not as good.

Other related information on the site
Review: Altitude (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Altitude (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: My New Time (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Interview with Mats van der Valk (guitar) on June 8, 2009 (Interviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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