Autumn Tears - Guardian of the Pale (2023)


It’s been a while since we reviewed an album from this studio project and with “Guardian of the Pale” we found ourselves going back to see what earlier releases we missed. Autumn Tears is a studio project of Ted Tringo, owner of Dark Symphonies, a label we loved in the late 90’s and early 2000’s that was producing/releasing some awesome ambient/gothic/atmospheric releases. In this double album, we get lush arrangements and magical compositions that bring back those early days when Neoclassical music was not as widely distributed in the ‘Metal world’.

Featuring guest appearances of artists like Francesca Nicoli (Ataraxia), Agnete Mangnes Kirkevaag (Madder Mortem) and Ann-Mari Edvardsen Alexis (The Third and The Mortal), the first part of this release is full of excellent atmospherics and delicate instrumentation. While each track is magical and delivers a unique cinematic context, we particularly love the dramatic choral arrangements of “Of Wind, Water and Sand”, the minimalist somberness of “Daydreaming in Ash Fields” and the fragility of “Lavender Mist”.

Having more than 70 musicians involved in this release, the second part of this release brilliantly continues to deliver complex compositions filled with a rich variety of instruments like French horn, oboe, violins, violas, and plenty more. This gives each track a very unique texture that cohesively combines as a whole to create unique and fantastical atmospheres, like our favorites “Radiant Blood” and its solemn male vocals, the enigmatic “The Pulse in the Sky”, and the cathartic “And There Rises From Somewhere”.

Overall, “Guardian of the Pale” is an impressive and monumental achievement filled with dramatic compositions and brilliant execution. The fact that all musicians gathered for this purpose are highly skilled, makes the compositions come alive with vibrant magic. Particularly due to the fact that all instruments are ‘real’ and not virtual instruments from Pro Tools. All songs here have their own unique spin and are equally engaging, making this album a true pleasure to explore slowly and enjoy in a quiet space.

Band: Autumn Tears Album: Guardian of the Pale

Label: The Circle Music

Release: March 24th, 2023

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Genre: Neoclassical

Country: USA

Rating: 94/100

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