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Mostly Autumn - Go Well Diamond Heart CD (album) cover

GO WELL DIAMOND HEART

Mostly Autumn

 

Prog Folk

3.48 | 84 ratings

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AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars The new line up of Mostly Autumn had the prog community wondering if the band could continue wthout the powerful voice of Heather Findlay who moved into a solo career. Backing vocalist Olivia Sparnenn was called in to replace her, a daunting task but one that was taken up with admirable finesse. Her voice is different but still maintains angelic textures, comparable to hold the band together.

As if to prove this the first track is Olivia's stetching her vocal muscles with intonations on a high octave range along with the incredible Troy Donockley's Uilleann pipes. The folk edge is set in stone from the get go and then an acoustic motif over flute embellishments settles into a relaxing cadence. Bryan Josh has a Pink Floyd timbre on the opening track For All We Shared, one of the best songs from the group. He is joined by Olivia and they work well together. The guitars of Josh are heavier than on the previous 'Glass Shadows' and there is an uplifting vibe as the chorus presents its catchy melody. Iain Jennings is excellent on keyboards, piano, and Hammond. It is a great start to this dynamic album from 2010; the new Mostly Autumn have announced their return to the studio in admirable fashion.

Violet Skies follows, with acoustic rhythms and Olivia's breathy performance. This is followed by Deep In Borrowdale, that has appeared on live albums and is definitely one of the heavier songs from this more recent line up. With its Led Zeppelin acoustic intro, it builds to a heavy guitar riff and some great raspy vocals from Josh.

Something Better is a song by Josh with some uncharacteristic swearing and westernised melodies, that do not appeal to me. It is followed by the superior definitive highlight Go Well Diamond Heart, with its majestic crescendos and sweeping keyboards of majesty, as well as estranged dialogue; a really innovative prog track from the band.

Back To Life has more pastoral pipes and a lilting dreamy melody lead well by Olivia. The soaring guitars flow nicely cascading over a steady rhythm at the coda, some of the best guitar on the album. Hold The Sun follows with more incredible lead guitar towards the end, hung on a pleasant melody. The final song is And When The War is Over, opening with minimalist piano and Olivia singing softly along a very slow tempo feeling like the last dance. The lead guitar break lifts it and then Troy's Uillean pipes return to augment the melancholy atmosphere.

Overall the album has some wonderful tracks as always but is not as consistent as 'Passengers' or some of the earlier albums. It is a good album to get into to relax after a day's work, but it feels a bit melancholy and sad for my liking. I have heard much more exuberant and exciting material from the band; this is perhaps the band in a more subdued mood, and it is pleasant, but not as amazing as I am used to from other releases.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |

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