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Mostly Autumn - Heart Full of Sky CD (album) cover

HEART FULL OF SKY

Mostly Autumn

 

Prog Folk

3.45 | 78 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Hercules
4 stars This could so easily have been a complete masterpiece, but it just falls short. Sure, it's a departure from the delicious Celtic, folky, mountaineering & Tolkein inspired early material, but the band have moved on. Gone is keyboards wizard Iain Jennings and into the band comes Chris Johnson, multi-instrumentalist and singer.

Highlights are the classic Fading Colours, Half a World, Walk With a Storm, Find the Sun (featuring some great violin work from Peter Knight of Steeleye Span) and Silver Glass, though this is a bit of a shock until you get used to Chris Johnson's voice. It clearly shows his potential as a songwriter, something the band need now Iain Jennings is no longer around to provide variety to Bryan Josh's offerings. But there are a couple of real duds too; Pocket Watch is an awful attempt at Syd Barrett era psychadelia with a banal, singalong chorus (Bryan Josh wrote it and loves it, apparently!) and Ghosts isn't great (especially not live).

However, the bonus 2nd CD, which might be expected to be filler, has some real gems on it. Leaving aside Science and Machinery (not MA at all), Open Road and Yellow Time (an Odin Dragonfly track originally) are very fine and Gaze, built round a peculiar and repetitive keyboard phrase and featuring some fine gentle violin, is magnificent, featuring one of Findlay's most exquisite vocals. All these last 3 should have been on the main CD in my opinion, replacing Pocket Watch and Ghosts. The rest of the Bonus Tracks are of high quality and Further From Home was promoted to the final single CD.

As ever, the entire band play quite superbly and the production is slick with no rough edges at all. It's a bit less heavy than Storms but still a damn fine effort from the best prog band currently operating. With more judicious track selection for the main CD, that could easily have have rated 5*. However, the limited edition double CD is worth an easy 4* and is the one to hunt down - if you can get anyone to part with their copy. Do not hold your breath and don't apply here!

Hercules | 4/5 |

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