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Review: Autumn - Altitude

Label: Metal Blade Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 50:23
Tracks: 11
Genre: Gothic Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: March 5, 2009
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating

Rated 3.67/5 (73.33%) (9 Votes)

Once in a while an album comes along that is both instantly accessible and so intricately layered that every spin reveals nuances that were missed during prior listens. Think about Queensryche's Operation:Mindcrime or Kamelot's The Black Halo and you'll get some idea of the EXPERIENCE of listening to Autumn's latest offering, Altitude. Not that it sounds like either of those classics, nor is it a concept album, but is mirrors them in being just a fun yet just as demanding of your attention. Altitude is, all things considered, a fantastic Gothic Metal album. Keyboards and song structures that are little above average in complexity lend Progressive overtones.

What really drive Altitude are the songs. Superbly written throughout, the chunky, fuzzy riffs underpinning songs like "Paradise Nox" and "Skydancer" coexist with the classy melodies of "Answers Never Questioned" and "Synchro-Minds." Personally, "Synchro-Minds" is one of the most beautiful ballads I've heard since Queensryche's "Silent Lucidity." This is one of those songs you want to keep for yourself, selfishly hoping no one else realizes how great it is and allows it to be overplayed (not much risk of that here in the USA, although this is a song that could change the status quo). New vocalist Marjan Welman has a wonderful voice and the entire band works as a whole, no one member overshadowing another. All the performances are spot-on and the production is crystal clear. If you enjoy female-fronted metal with progressive elements, there just isn't much on Altitude not to like.

Other related information on the site
Review: Altitude (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: My New Time (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Stacking Smoke (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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