Autumn Tears - promotional sampler

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Dark Symphonies
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 68:00:00

This sampler compilation gathers material from Autumn Tears four releases to date: Love Poems For Dying Children...Act 1, The Garden Of Crystalline Dreams: Love Poems For Dying Children ... Act 2, Absolution (an EP), and Winter And The Broken Angel: Love Poems For Dying Children...Act 3. The compilation isn't something that can be purchased, but the albums that are represented on it can be. And yes, I think you should, as I, quite frankly find the music on this release quite stunning. It is both warm and cold at the same time, the vocals being this amber glow in an otherwise grey scene.

What kind of music can one expect to hear from Autumn Tears? Beautiful but haunting vocals, sedate arrangements full of dark shadows, understated instrumentation, and a sense of both reverence and melancholy. The style palette that Autumn Tears uses includes chant, classical opera, and medieval. The info blurb on the sleeve compares the band to Enya, Stoa, and "earlier Dead can Dance." Surrounding and flowing through the voices of Ted, Erika and Jennifer LeeAnna are symphonic keys (played by all three), lyrical piano (Ted), and sparse percussion from James West (the shimmering cymbals on "The Intermission" are a nice touch, for example). The music is very dramatic -- one wouldn't be surprised if at some point either a dance production was created or a stage production of some sort.

Of the pieces included here, "The Dance" from the Absolution EP is the most energetic, as might be gathered from the title. There is a still a sense of strong reserve, but the instrumentation of swirling keys, strong percussion, and sinewy vocals move about much like a dance (the mental image I had was of a vast, marbled-floored room, empty but for two dark figures dancing a slow waltz). This is followed by the a cappella "The Passion And The Fury" a track where you can clearly hear just how sonorous and rich the voices of Erika and Jennifer are as they sing in harmony. There is a gentle hypnotic quality to Autumn Tears music as well, entrancing you. It may be dark in subject matter, but it is not oppressive. With Erika and Jennifer's lilting voices keep this from being depressing, though certainly the sense of melancholy will affect you.

There are so many different passages here that I find simply stunning -- the orchestration on "The Widowtree" is beautiful, for example. The track slowly builds towards a climax that is so open and vast, Erika's vocals nearly soaring, that you feel some sort of release, as if some resolution has been made.

Autumn Tears formed in 1995 as duo of Ted and Erika. In releasing their debut, they also started their own label, Dark Symphonies, which now is home to several other artists in the genre as well. Though Erika left for a time and Jennifer LeeAnne took over the vocals, with their EP and their third album, Erika returned, giving the band two strong yet different voices that compliment each other well (though not drastically different).

The album closes with yet another entirely different texture in "Black Heaven"-- the music is dark, pulsating with a quite menace as Ted provides some very evil sounding vocals, harsh and growly...and totally unexpected upon a first listen.

The Grand Celebration / The Eloquent Sleep / A Dreaming Kiss / The Never / The Dance / The Passion And The Fury / The Intermission / Ode To My Forthcoming Winter / Autumn Requiem / This My Melancholic Masquerade / The Ebony Meadow / The Absolution Of What Once Was / The Widowtree / Black Heaven

Ted - piano, keyboards, vocals
Erika - vocals, keyboards
Jennifer LeeAnna - vocals, keyboards
James West - timpani, snare, percussion

Love Poems For Dying Children...Act 1
The Garden Of Crystalline Dreams: Love Poems For Dying Children... Act 2
Absolution (MCD)
Winter And The Broken Angel: Love Poems For Dying Children...Act 3

Genre: Other

Origin US

Added: September 24th 2001
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1045
Language: english


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