Closure by An Autumn For Crippled Children

Release date: August 4, 2023
Label: Prosthetic Records

Mysterious and fascinating, the anonymous Dutch trio An Autumn For Crippled Children have continued to intrigue a small corner of the black metal world for well over a decade now. Closure is their tenth album in fourteen years, an astonishing work rate by anyone’s standards – and nary a clanger in sight, either. With precious little more than the music to go on, their profile is lower than many of those who have discovered them think it should be.

Their peculiar take on the genre is almost unique, with the soaring euphoric haze of fuzzy reverb surrounding the fast, frigid riffs instilling an air of faint hope to the familiar cornerstones of overwhelming loneliness, bitter hatred, and seething depression. The blissful solitude is dreamlike, fragile fragments that threaten to shatter if one looks at them too closely. It is best to lie back and let this strange concoction wash over.

This time around, Closure is more energetic, the whirl of emotions flying by at a quicker pace. Yet they feel even more elusive here, fleeting moments of magic that elegantly evade our clumsy mitts as we search for a modicum of meaning in the wall of noise. The relentlessness is not so much exhausting, more that it is captivating, demanding your sole and undivided attention.


It is in the flashes such as when the strings emerge in ‘As The Void’, or the bridge flitting by during ‘For Tomorrow’, that An Autumn For Crippled Children truly come into their own. Inducing waves of goose bumps, every note, every decision, is made carefully to bring such nuance to the onslaught, something to latch on to as the listener is swept away in the torrent.

Closure is once again a brilliant demonstration that black metal can be multi-faceted, that it does not have to stick rigidly to the “kvlt” aesthetics of the mid-nineties to unleash the same swirling, alluring, enrapturing madness we all crave from the genre. The relative obscurity of An Autumn For Crippled Children will always remain a puzzle, yet for those that have heard the siren call, every release brings its own special tincture of joy.

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