EP REVIEW: Forever Autumn – Crowned In Skulls


Forever Autumn’s Crowned in Skulls EP (Self-Released) is raw, in many senses of the word. Autumn Ni Dubhghaill, the band’s creative force, seems to be drawing us in to witness an intensely cathartic pain-cleansing ritual over the course of the record’s five songs. Her voice acts as a vessel through which the ritualistic channeling of various primal expressions takes place. It is by turns painfully fragile and terrifyingly ferocious, but always fully saturated with unrefined emotion.


Ni Dubhghaill also provides sombre and forlorn acoustic guitar and balalaika parts which are augmented by her foreboding percussion including “doom drums” and the scrape of Jon McGrath’s wretched and elegiac cello parts.


The production is anything but polished, but this somewhat rough approach seems to act as a glue to successfully fuse together the softness of the folky arrangements with the fierce hostility of the raging black metal screams. There are moments when the sense of time and pitch feels unsettlingly loose, as though the music is only barely keeping its head above the water of the thick reverb that it swims in. But somehow this instability seems to underline and even enhance the sense of dread and doom that pervades the songs.


‘The Forest and the Nyght’ notably features the voice of My Dying Bride’s Aaron Stainthorpe, whose typically sorrowful baritone provides a melodic counterpoint to Ni Dubhghaill’s formidable demonic shrieks.


“I cannot help but sing of doom”, sings Ni Dubhghaill on ‘Under Shadows of Annwn’. Those who like to invite the ancient spirits to the crossroads where dark folk meets black metal will hope that fact doesn’t change any time soon.

Buy the EP here:



7 / 10