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Mostly Autumn - For All We Shared CD (album) cover

FOR ALL WE SHARED

Mostly Autumn

 

Prog Folk

3.51 | 95 ratings

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octopus-4
Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
3 stars This has been my second MA album as I approached the band starting with The Spirit of Autumn Past. The first impression is that this is a bit immature respect to Spirit, but it already contains all the elements of their music plus something that will go lost later.

This first lineup features a violinist, or better a fiddler: Bob Faulds who will leave the band after realizing that the celtic element is not the main one. Also Angela Goldthorpe features as guest only.

The main references for the band are of course the Pink Floyd. Bryan Josh is the first to admit, in an interview, that he modeled his guitar playing on David Gilmour, while the Celtic element comes mainly from Heather FIndlay and Angela Goldthorpe. The girls were forming a folk duo before being hired in the band.

This is the early story, now the album.

"Nowhere to Hide" starts with some winds and is a song that doesn't have much of Celtic or Floydian, except for the starting winds and the coda which leads to the second track. The song itself is good. Josh is the lead vocalist (unfortunately) but Heather supports him well.

The intro of "Porcupine Rain" is a bit too long. Ok, Bryan can use the echo on his guitar as Dave Gilmour does, but to demonstrate it 30 seconds are enough. Point me at the sky....where did I hear this sentence before? Of course I'm joking. This song hasn't anything to do with Zabrisky Point. Not my favorite track, anyway.

The first very Floydian track is "The Last Climb" even though the long guitar intro can remind also to Anthony Phillips and the piano to Vangelis (Memories of Green). When Josh starts singing the chords and the melody are very similar to Humble Pie's "Earth and Water Song" that's a song that I like very much. This one is enriched by the very nice fiddle solo in the middle. It's a pity that the violin has disappeared so early from the band.

"Heroes Never Die" is the first very great track of the album. Apparently more inspired to Genesis and Marillion than to Floyd with Angela's flute adding dreamy sensations. The guitar harping reminds to Marillion and we are still in the intro...A five stars song. In the second part of the song the guitar takes the leadership and the Gilmourish riff is enhanced by the drum's accents. You can't just listen to this song. It's the kind of song that forces your body to move.

"Folklore" is the first full celtic interlude. The limit of this album is that the prog and the celtic elements are often alternated, but alost never fused into a single mixture. Only after about 4 minutes it turns into prog for a while. It's quite good but again they are mainly two separate songs joined together, not a fusion.

Angela's flute opens another sweet song. "Boundless Oceans" has a folky flavor thanks mainly to the flute. The second part of the song turns into minor chords and is lead by the vioilin.

Another celtic moment, again with a failed attempt to make some fusion with prog. I like it very much but "Shenanigans" suffers of the same problems of "Folklore". Let's dance, anyway.

A storm introduces "Steal Away". Finally it's Heather who sings. Between Pink Floyd, Renaissance and also late Clannad (the period of Macalla and Sirius). A slow colorful song.

"Out of the Inn" will be recycled for the Lord of The rings album but this is another story. It starts inside the inn in a typical Irish way: A guy improvising in rhyme telling a story over a fiddle base. Then another celtic instrumental comes. The whistle of Kevin Gibbons is initially leading the track, then there's room for the violin and the guitar. This is the only track on which the fusion between traditional celtic and prog seems to work.

As will become usual for the band, the last track is the longest. Not so long to be called an epic but surely the most complex track of the album. The most floydian song of the album, inspired probably more by Waters than by Gilmour. It makes me think more to Animals or The Wall. The solos are played alternatively by violin and guitar. The long instrumental coda will be reprised at the beginning of the second album and this will be a constant until The Last Bright Light.

The average level of this album's tracks is "good but non essential". Unfortunately the presence of some very good highlights is not enough to give an additional star. Howver I strongly recommend it to whoever likes folk and/or symphonic prog. Personally I really like this album and songs like Heroes Never Die can't be deleted from my portable device. 3 stars but very close to 4.

octopus-4 | 3/5 |

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