|Review: Autumn Hour - Dethroned|
Label: Rock Ridge Music
Year released: 2009
Genre: Progressive Metal
Review online: August 23, 2009
Reviewed by: Jason Cominetto
Rated 2.67/5 (53.33%) (3 Votes)
Dethroned, the debut release from New Jersey progressive group Autumn Hour, is an album that takes some getting used to. For one, it is a lot slower than most metal releases, which might be a big turn-off for most people. A good half of the songs run at a fairly slow tempo, and at least two of them ("Here Comes the Rain Again" and "How Were We Supposed to Know") could be considered ballads. However, with that slow tempo comes catchiness, especially in the case of "How Were We Supposed to Know," which was caught in my head for extended periods of time.
Another thing that will turn a lot of listeners off of Autumn Hour is the relative simplicity of the music. Many of the songs almost consist entirely of low-frequency chugging and never quite step out of that slim comfort zone, with the exception of a few brilliantly performed guitar solos by sole guitarist Justin Jurman. This simplicity in structure and playing style leads to Dethroned's biggest downfall a supreme lack of grandiose and thoroughly exciting moments. Most songs sound like they will be building up to a climactic moment, only to revert back to the aforementioned comfort zone, leaving the listener wondering if anything truly epic will come. Likewise, a lot of the tracks begin to sound a lot alike and with a few exceptions are rarely distinct from one another.
I also found vocalist Alan Tecchio over-emoting his songs way too often, something that is a large pet peeve of mine. On top of this, most of his lyrics are childish and simplistic in nature, even on "Here Comes the Rain Again," which I believe to be the best track on the album. The band's entry on Metal-Archives describes the lyrics on this album as "based around ideas developed by Ray Kurzweil in his book ‘The Singularity Is Near,' taking forward-thinking concepts like strong artificial intelligence, exponential technological development, and nanotechnology," but the simplistic nature of the lyrics do all but immerse the listener in any such significant moments as described by the previous statement.
However, even though the songs may not sound too differentiated and contain childish sounding lyrics, most of them are pretty catchy and easy to latch on to. If Autumn Hour find a way to take their catchiness and step outside of their musical and lyrical barrier of simplicity they could make a truly superb album, but as of now Dethroned is the bands only contribution and should be considered the starting point for these musicians to build off of and improve upon.
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