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Rhys Marsh - Rhys Marsh & the Autumn Ghost: The Blue Hour CD (album) cover


Rhys Marsh


Crossover Prog

3.35 | 23 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars It seems like Norway is one of the most creative locations for progressive music these days, and although Rhys Marsh was originally born in the UK, his Norwegian ensemble known as The Autumn Ghost is a unique force in the country's music scene. Showcasing a mellow and introverted style of art rock, the music heard on The Blue Hour may not sound terribly unique by description alone, but Rhys Marsh clearly directs this ensemble with an ambitious artistic vision. Although The Blue Hour isn't the most exciting release of 2012, it's an interesting little album with some truly interesting things going on.

The Blue Hour can be described as melancholic and intimate art rock with occasional leanings into jazz and post-rock territory. There are some bombastic tracks like "Wooden Heart", but generally things are kept on the more reflective side. What's likely to grab the attention of most listeners here are the unique arrangements - though 'normal' rock instruments like drums, guitar, bass, and keyboards are present, a large portion of the music is dominated by woodwind and brass instruments. From what I understand, this style of arrangement is a 'first' for Rhys Marsh, so it's even more surprising how well it works. The choice of instruments compliments the compositions perfectly, and while the songwriting doesn't excite me too much, I'll acknowledge that a lot of talent certainly went into the making of The Blue Hour.

The album does have a rather strange sounding production (the drums sound especially odd), but it doesn't detract from the overall listening experience. If anything, the raw and unpolished sound quality gives The Blue Hour more of a warm and intimate flavor. This is an album that is largely focused on creating lush atmospheres using unconventional instruments, and from that perspective, The Blue Hour is a tremendous success. Rhys Marsh and the Autumn Ghost has offered their fanbase a very solid listen for their third full-length observation, and I'll definitely recommend this to fans of original and forward-thinking art rock.

J-Man | 3/5 |


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