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Autumns Eyes - "Broken Leaves and Haunted Streets" (CD)

Autumns Eyes - "Broken Leaves and Haunted Streets" CD cover image

"Broken Leaves and Haunted Streets" track listing:

1. Branches Across the Blinds (9:49)
2. Accepting Madness (7:03)
3. Lucid Empathy (13:46)
4. Threat of My Extinction (8:06)
5. Foreshadowed Misery (10:22)

Reviewed by on August 12, 2013

"Taking music written a decade back, sole member Dan Mitchell has re-recorded five previously unreleased songs with the knowledge and experience of 10 years in the metal scene."

Sometimes you have to look back to move forward, and that’s what Autumns Eyes has done with “Broken Leaves and Haunted Streets,” which features a collection of five re-imagined tracks from the band’s earliest incarnation. Taking music written a decade back, sole member Dan Mitchell has re-recorded five previously unreleased songs with the knowledge and experience of 10 years in the metal scene.

For fans of the other Autumns Eyes albums, there are some major differences on this release worth noting. “Broken Leaves and Haunted Streets” features significantly longer tracks than previous outputs, with most of the songs in the nine to 13 minute range instead of the standard four to five. These tracks are also completely instrumental, going on a musical journey that’s constantly shifting in sound and style. Finally, while it’s most definitely not completely gone, the Halloween vibe is toned down from last album “Please Deceive Me.”

Even though the sound quality is modern and professional, it’s easy to tell the original tracks were put together years back due to the strong influence of more classic metal throughout “Broken Leaves and Haunted Streets.” Autumns Eyes has updated that idea to the present day though, as the tracks know when to suddenly switch gears to keep the music interesting without any vocal support. Dan also hasn’t lost his touch for the cinematic, with movie score style music creeping its way in and atmospheric touches sprinkled throughout. Notable examples include the windswept rain with acoustic guitars on “Branches Across the Blinds” or the creepy keyboard intro to “Accepting Madness.”

Although the focus is different, the progressive attitude and instrumentation will be a good fit for those who enjoyed the “Abandoned Expression” album over the band’s more black metal focused material. “Broken Leaves and Haunted Streets” is a little lighter on the heaviness than previous albums, and the lack of vocals may be a positive or negative based on how much you liked the singing and screaming before, but even with these large scale changes, this is still a top-notch album well worth hearing.

Highs: Lots of genre changes without losing focus, great production, and a new (although actually old) twist on the Autumns Eyes sound

Lows: This one is less heavy than previous albums, and the vocals are missed in parts

Bottom line: The Autumns Eyes sound gets an instrumental makeover, as songs from years back are re-imagined in a modern format.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)