Autumn’s Grey Solace – Ablaze

This their 5th album under the Projekt label. Autumn’s Grey Solace show no signs of slowing down any time soon. Some bands can be criticised for working to fast and the results not bearing much fruit. But this duo of Erin Welton and Scott Ferrell seem to have too many ideas they want to play with – and the only answer is to produce the albums.

Their efforts seem to have paid off again. Their style quite often compared to the more Cocteau elements of the Darkwave music scene. Welton’s ethereal swooning with Ferrell’s echoing and haunted music always there as a perfect template. After this many albums they may be soon running close to repeating themselves. Welton takes care of that by trying a few things she hasn’t in the past. Ferrell as the man behind the music has a tougher task and there are indeed echoes of what fans will have heard before. This could have been solved by maybe discovering a few more instruments that may have given off a diferent sound. But for the fresh ear which sadly is most of the people in the UK it won’t matter. If anything ‘Ablaze’ it is still a great opening to a band whose work is going from strength to strength in the face of commerciality.

The album opens with ‘Endlessly’ which is apt given the repetative swaying, but it also seems like a more upbeat opening number for AGS. And this is what could well be what is different about this album. It seems to be much more cheerful that past efforts. ‘Riverine’ in particular was much more of a moody and depressed masterpiece. Here there is more of soulfulness going on here. There is still plenty of gothic swooning to be had. ‘Fluttermouth’ is proof of that. But maybe AGS have given themselves a break and decide to give a more of a relaxed feeling for their listener.

Not to let words like ‘relaxed’ fool any fan. Erin’s voice isnt any more alive than it has been than in Tusk. You can only wonder what kind of training she may have put herself through in order to make her voice this angelic and operatic. ‘Eternal Light’ and ‘A Rythym that Writhes’ provide more great examples of AGS works. Both very much contratsed by mood, but still both wonderful pieces of work. The latter pays close tribute to an earlier 80’s Darkwave feel. These little experiments can end up being Parody’s or mere copies, but AGS manage to actually make a very good song that can stand side by side to their predecessors, if not above them.

Its certainley nice that they have a label that speciallises in the format, anyone indeed interested in any form of Darkwave should check out the projekt website. But as it is a small label it’s unforunate that tools at their disposal are limited as there is many a fine artist onboard. Autumn’s Grey Solace is easily one of their best.

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