Sort-of-Black-MetalGerm is an incredibly weird band that I’ve mentioned once or twice before in these pages. Inhabiting uncharted territory near the border of black metal, it’s one of those projects that endlessly fascinates me. The unmistakable singing voice of drummer/vocalist Sorrow is present in one more sort-of-black-metal band, Autumn’s Dawn.
There is a lot of similarity between the two projects. Germ seems to combine synth-pop and 80’s action-film soundtrack music with some of the most bloodcurdling black metal around. Autumn’s Dawn is based on the same principle, but takes a less extreme approach. It starts with some of the mellower post-black metal and meshes it with gothic rock and a few other ingredients. Either way, it’s all about making black metal catchy using familiar ingredients.
Now, when I say this starts with post-black metal, I don’t want you to think for a second that there are any aimless, 14-minute meanderings. Sorrow’s M.O. is nothing if not tight. Conscious, old-fashioned songwriting is at play here; even instrumental “Into the Cold” is brief and engaging. But the shimmering guitar could draw comparisons to Roads to Judah. Essentially, he took the sounds of post-black and combined them with gothic rock to make a more palatable entrée.
This is obviously not for those who like their black metal truer-than-thou. “The Ashes of a Life” vaguely reminds me of the Gin Blossoms, and has a sing-turn-to-scream that’s ready for hard rock radio. The verses in the title track sound suspiciously like an Ozzy radio single from the 80’s. But if you’re still reading at this point, it might be worth your attention.
The Verdict: 3.5 out of 5 stars