Forever Autumn is an Avant-garde, Acoustic Doom, and Pagan Folk project created by Autumn Ni Dubhghaill. There`s a new extended play `Crowned in Skulls` released digitally this month which is a five-song exploration of shamanism and witchery through Pagan Folk and Acoustic Doom. This release follows on from 2021`s `Hail the Forest Dark` and showcases the band’s evolution as they delve further into the territories of acoustic and pagan music. 

`The Forest and the Nyght` opens with an acoustic strummed guitar and what sounds like a cello. The vocals range from a distorted croak to gently shared on this ethereal musing which has a   

guest appearance of Aaron Stainthorpe, lead singer of My Dying Bride. We have a fast-paced brief interlude with growled vocals in the form of `Death Folk`.  

`Incense and Deer Skulls` is an interplay between cello, plucked guitar and percussion which gathers pace as it evolves. Although `Dried Herbs in Water` runs at just under ten minutes in length it doesn`t feel overly long and has cello, guitar, percussion and vocals all vying to be heard. A number that becomes hypnotic or mesmerising as it progresses and picks up pace towards the end with the distorted vocals almost given a free reign. 

This five track extended play bids us farewell with `Under Shadows of Annwn`. I read that Annwn, Annwfn, or Annwfyn is the Otherworld in Welsh mythology. It was ruled by Arawn and was essentially a world of delights and eternal youth where disease was absent, and food was ever abundant. It became identified with the Christian afterlife in paradise or heaven. This composition was the most instantly accessible with flute, strummed guitar and soothing vocals that were accompanied by a harmonic percussive beat on route. I felt there was an overwhelming melancholy or feeling of something long gone, erstwhile or ancient shared within. 

`Crowned in Skulls` was an interesting listen and certainly grabs your attention and for me had a dark and mysterious beauty about it. 

Rating 8 / 10 

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