Autumn Bride – Undying (Stamping Ground Records)Sunday, 9th May 2021
Originating as a side project in 2016 with members from death/thrash act Days of Loss and an Iron Maiden tribute band, Austria’s Autumn Bride quickly gathered momentum as a symphonic metal quartet with some modern hard rock touches for their debut album Undying. Marrying a heavy sound with lyrics full of fear, dedication and love – it’s quite apparent that these musicians right out of the gate have established a style that has catchy melodies, strong hooks, and solid songwriting aspects that are rare to find this early in a band’s career.
The ten tracks navigate between commercial-laden measures and gothic/symphonic textures, never forsaking the driving nature of guitars and potent rhythm section grooves or supplementary energy necessary to stay firm in metallic ways. Guitarist Alex Schmid can turn from power chord mode a la Paradise Lost or Evanescence and then be lighter/cleaner for transitions that aid “Moonlit Waters” or the follow-up Sentenced meets Nightwish-ish “Shadows” into highlight reel material even on the initial passes. Dynamics play a huge role in the record as you get deeper in, the slower Dio-era Sabbath meets Alter Bridge musical components for “Ravenqueen” allow singer Suzy ‘Alison’ Q a chance to dig deeper from her normal clean, mesmerizing melodies into a bit more of a darker, gritty lower register that proves she can match up well with the Dio/Dickinson pinnacle of metal vocals. Specific songs also gain symphonic depth through well-executed keyboard placement – “Guardian Angels” matching up well, the chorus a vocal/musical marriage sure to be a crowd pleaser should Autumn Bride include this regularly in the live sets. The production and sonic output have that balance between crunch and clarity – another sign that most who love gothic or melodic symphonic metal will find the songs very easy to process, consume, and return to again and again.
Autumn Bride may be new to the scene, but Undying proves that they’ve laid down a firm foundation to build upon for a bright and hopefully long-lasting career.