Album Premiere: Autumn Tears — “Guardian of the Pale”

You may recall that we threw a little bit of a change up at the start of the new year, having the honor of premiering “Of Wind, Water and Sand” from neoclassical collective Autumn Tears. Well, now that we find ourselves only a couple of days away from the release of the new double album, Guardian of the Pale, we’re excited to be back with the opportunity to listen to the new album in its full form a little early. It’s a stunning 70-minute listen that we welcome you to get lost in immediately after the break.

Now that we have the full collection to immerse ourselves in, we can build on the themes and highlights introduced in January with all the context we need. The fully orchestrated classical ensemble, featuring more than 70 musicians and vocalists, came together to deliver something truly mesmerizing, and equally as diverse. We’ve already mentioned special guest Francesca Nicoli from Italian neoclassical band Ataraxia, but Guardian of the Pale also includes Agnete Mangnes Kirkevaag from Norwegian progressive metal act Madder Mortem and opera singer Ann-Mari Edvardsen Alexis, ex-The 3rd and the Mortal. Needless to say, there is a wide range of creative minds that crafted this album, and yet its form ends up feeling completely organic and authentic.

But let’s be clear, this is an ambitious listen. Some moments seem to linger extensively, while others depart too quickly. It’s the inevitable result of a complex merging of ideas stretched to such a lengthy duration. It’s easy to drift away and lose track of time and place, and subsequently just as easy to get brought right back to attention, as weight and pace rise and fall in carefully structured sequences over the course of these 16 tracks. It makes for a worthy listening endeavor. Personally, I don’t find myself diving into the more neoclassical styles, but this offers a form of tranquility I can get behind when the situation calls for it. It’s charming, peaceful, at times powerful, and offers enough variety on this hour-plus listen to stay engaging throughout. Regardless of personal stylistic interest, there is plenty to appreciate in Guardian of the Pale.

That’s enough from me. You have plenty to dive into. So to wrap up, we’ll remind you that Autumn Tears’ ninth studio album is out this coming Friday, March 24, through The Circle Music, on whichever format you prefer. Pick it up here if you haven’t already. Be sure to stay in touch and give Autumn Tears a follow over on Facebook and Bandcamp.

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