Autumn Tears – The Origin of Sleep

[Reviewed by Peter Marks]

For being gone over a decade, Autumn Tears pick right up from where they left off with ‘The Hallowing’. The list of contributors for this EP is lengthy but as I took it all in what became apparent is that each individual was a small piece in a very opulent production. The strings soar, the vocals harmonize splendidly and behind all of it the authenticity involved reveals itself; this is one of the facets to what they do which has allowed them to remain relevant for such a long period of time: there is nothing you can discern up front, you have to look deeper and listen attentively to truly appreciate their work.

On it’s face this could simply be dismissed as beautiful music -and it is- however, the subject matter which they are addressing has less to do with skin deep temporalities and is intently focused on what life can contain for each of us. Moreover, what life can do to those who do not appreciate it; eventually things become too painful and the time comes for sleep.

I won’t belabor the point any further, they’re hardly being coy about it. They watch with closed eyes. Have you been paying attention, they ask, do you remember us. This one does.

It’s curious indeed to go through their discography and then get to where they are now; back in my 20s they were writing love songs for dying children and had some very jagged edges to them. Now, they haven’t so much mellowed as developed into an older, more contemplative act who are acutely aware of their surroundings. These are truly elegant compositions and Peter Bjargo’s mastering brings out every possible nuance right down to capturing the groan of the bows at points; sometimes you can hear a breath being caught.

In all my time spent listening to them I’ve not heard them strike such a perfect balance between intimacy, “The Origin of Sleep”, and profound majesty, “Shaping a Fragile Utopia”, on any of their previous records. Clearly, they have now begun an entirely new chapter in the ongoing saga which is their twenty-three year career… the tears continue to fall.

Autumn TearsThe Origin of Sleep
Dark Symphonies, Dark100CD
CD/Digital 2018

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