EXCLUSIVE: Dutch Atmospheric Black Metallers AN AUTUMN FOR CRIPPLED CHILDREN First-Ever Interview

silhouettes of three tourists in the rays of the setting sun in the mountains

Ten albums, five EPs, a steady progression throughout all of this body of work into increasingly subtle and bittersweet, melody-ridden atmospheric black metal; and above all, a curiously elegant approach to the anonymity aspect of the band, which never felt like a gimmick with them… yeah, it feels like a good time to maybe stop and have a bit of a think about it, doesn’t it?

That’s exactly what An Autumn for Crippled Children are doing with their new—and potentially last—album, Closure. “We definitely had a feeling that this is a turning point,” they tell us. And just to be clear, that pronoun is used to describe the main musician in the band, who graciously agreed to talk to us, but without revealing their identity. No, we don’t know who they are, and honestly, we really don’t want to. More than anything, it always felt strangely appropriate that this ghostly, melancholic music appears to exist only floating in the ether, rather than having grubby humans involved in any of it.

They continue: “Hitting album number 10, there is indeed a feeling of closure. We are uncertain what the future will bring. For now, we will enjoy the ride of this album, but things will be different from now on, be it the music or the name.”

Hey, they might even come back under a different form and you won’t even know it’s the same people. How much, we wonder, has this well-kept secret actually been a sort of influence in the equally distant, elusive quality of their music?

“Yes, very much so,” comes the immediate reply. “Through anonymity, people are forced to focus only on the music. I find it rewarding that people are into your music and not your persona, your other bands or other things that don’t matter. Having said that, I don’t think the anonymity in itself lends the music a different atmosphere. The music is pretty honest; it’s all emotion. Love and death. There’s no ‘satanic evilness from the bowels of hell,’ ‘fuck yeah, I’m doing blow on top of this blonde,’ or ‘I’m an orc climbing a Tolkien mountain.’ We have never written about things that are not real. We may have worded the events poetically, but it was never fantasy.”

Starting out with an album called Lost and ending (?) with Closure… Has this been a rewarding journey, not only musically, but also personally? “Some things are hard to talk about, and ventilating them through music is a great way to deal with them,” they admit. “I think part of me will always feel ‘lost’; it’s a feeling that never leaves, I guess. But musically, I do think we found the soul of AAFCC after that first album. We will always be involved with music, but this band is our special creation.”

An Autumn for Crippled Children’s Closure is available August 4 via Prosthetic