Autumn - Cold Comfort
Metal Blade
Melodic Gothic Metal
10 songs ()
Release year: 2011
Autumn, Metal Blade
Reviewed by Khelek

Gothic metal is a genre that has been inundated over the past ten years with new bands, ever since the great popularity of the previously undisputed masters of the genre, Nightwish. Since then many have come but few have stood the test of time, and Autumn has been a relatively consistent act since their appearance on the scene in 2002. My New Time and Altitude, the two albums I'm most familiar with, are both excellent examples of some original and well thought out gothic metal that can be both haunting and atmospheric yet still throw some very energetic heavy metal at the listener. Cold Comfort, while somewhat following its predecessors, has a slower, more subdued feel to it, and unfortunately I was disappointed by this approach to some extent. However it is not a failure by any means, and there is still much to be enjoyed here.

The Scarecrow gets off to a slow start, though the heaviness of the guitars is heard before too long. Definitely has a doom-like quality to it. If it weren't for the angelic vocals of Marjan Welman, you might think this is some epic doom. I suppose with an album title like Cold Comfort this is to be expected, but I was still hoping for something a bit more energetic. The title track is similarly laid-back, a decidedly melancholy track that does not do a whole lot for me. I felt that the strength of the band's previous release was that, while it did have this gothic melancholy, it also incorporated plenty of heavy energy that really got the listener more involved. Black Stars In A Blue Sky has a sort of Coheed & Cambria feel in the guitar riffs. The melody is quite catchy, but the vocals and overall pace of the song still give it a sense of gothic melancholy. Definitely one of my favorites from the album. Retrospect also uses some strong guitars, though the chorus here is still a bit subdued. Nevertheless it is one of the most memorable songs of the album. It has that mixture of gothic melancholy and heavy metal energy that sounds great. The vocals obviously help a lot with this, but the guitars and keyboard work is also excellent. Alloy is simply too long and slow for me and doesn't really catch my attention much at all. I also found the lyrics to be similarly monotonous and somewhat confusing at times. End Of Sorrow similarly does not do much for me, with its opening of slow guitar riffs, which unfortunately don't really fit with the rest of the song. The chorus is very melodic and memorable, and the vocals are quite excellent once again, but even so, it's a pretty typical ballad. There are too many songs on this album that seem to want to be heavy, but are held down by melodic interludes and changes in tempo. This is a clearly band that is better at doing one or the other, not both in the same song. I felt that the strength of the band's previous release was that, while it did have this gothic melancholy, it also incorporated plenty of heavy energy that really got the listener more involved. Fortunately the last two tracks on the album try to get some more energy going. Change For The Bitter is a faster, more power-metal-like song, and The Mute has some very decent melodic guitar work which I did enjoy hearing, but once again the tempo is very subdued, leaving me on the fence and never really drawing me into the song.

Cold Comfort is certainly a cold album, less energetic than its predecessor, instead favoring slow, chilly melodies and melancholy over heaviness. However, give it some time and the right mood and there is still plenty of beauty to be found here. The vocals are still a point of excellence, as are the melodic guitars where they can be found. The real weakness of this album is that it appeals to a very limited range of emotions, where the previous was more varied, and so more listenable for longer. I gave this album plenty of listening time and was rewarded, as I think most other fans of Autumn's previous work will be, but at the end of the day it's simply not as consistently memorable as their last couple albums.

Killing Songs :
Black Stars In A Blue Sky, Retrospect, Changes For The Bitter
Khelek quoted 69 / 100
Other albums by Autumn that we have reviewed:
Autumn - Stacking Smoke reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Autumn - My New Time reviewed by Khelek and quoted 78 / 100
Autumn - Altitude reviewed by Goat and quoted 89 / 100
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