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Autumn Chorus - The Village to the Vale CD (album) cover


Autumn Chorus

Crossover Prog

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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A brilliant album with folk choral type vocals set over some very pastoral music (despite the presence of drums). Unusual with an amazing male lead vocalist (Robbie Wilson) and interesting use of organ, strings, horns and effects (recorded in a church??) With only one song clocking in at less than five minutes--and three over seven--I'm not sure this album deserves the "Crossover" label--think "Folk" label much more appropriate--though band calls themselves Post Rock/Modern Classical--both of which there are definite presences. There is even a strong feel of church chorale influence. As Robbie sings--and the effects cause a church-like echo--one cannot help but feel transported to some sacred or angelic venue. Amazing to have this kind of voice singing over the Post Rock/Folk Rock music! "Progressive" in the truest sense of the word. I cannot yet give this album 5 stars "masterpiece" status for I have only listened to it twice on and once since buying it from, but I want to. It is definitely a stunning album, start to finish. Reminds me of Fleet Foxes and The Decemberists, playing over music by Sigur Ròs and Radiohead.

Check it out, everybody!

Report this review (#578144)
Posted Tuesday, November 29, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars The return of the English pleasant land.

In England's green and pleasant land, you still get some albums that resonates between the villages and hills in England. An album that paint pictures of the English landscapes, the people and the village lives...... anno 1920. This is such an album.

With vocals that reminds me about A-Ha's Morten Harket and is that good. But where Morten Harket goes take on me and the sun always shines on tv, Autumn Chorus vocalist Robbie Wilson returns into one of England's cathedral and joins one of their many young men choirs in their chorals. His vocals is unearthly excellent and can make satan himself attending church on a regular basis. Robbie Wilson does get help from some female vocalists too and the end result is heavenly godly throughout this album.

The vocals are supported by a post rock like music with a lot of strings, organs, guitars and the traditional instruments. The sound is excellent. The music relies heavily on the vocals, but the instrumental bits is still excellent in it's own right. The music is pastoral post rock which feels like has been produced in an for a cathedral and in a cathedral. The music is in short almost religious and hymn like. But a lot better, I have to say. Sigur Ros is an obvious reference.

The music is excellent throughout and really takes the listenener on a fantastic journey through the pastoral landscapes of England. It also takes the listener back to baroque music, although with a post rock soundscape.

This album is nothing short of sensational. It is not in the same category as Genesis masterpieces, but it is not far away. English prog rock has found a new masterpiece in The Village to the Vale. No doubts.

5 stars

Report this review (#620128)
Posted Thursday, January 26, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars this time I answered "Yes" to the "Do you really want to give ****** review" prompt :-)

What everyone else says.

If you liked any of the following albums

Harmonium - SI ON AVAIT BESOIN D'UNE CINQUIÈME SAISON Celeste - PRINCIPE DI UN GIORNO PFM - Storia Di Un Minuto Trader Horne - The Morning Way


then this album is a no-brainer :-)

Hard for me to believe that this day and age that an album as great as this can possess all of the same pastoral beauty as the others listed above do (as you'd think all of the great ideas had already been done).

But it most certainly does.

this now has become a new addition to my favorite "top-10 most pastoral sounding prog albums".

Released in 2011 but it could easily pass as a classic pastoral prog release in 1972. That should give you an idea that there are no modern-sounding cliches.

When I hear pure pastoral beauty in an album like this, I think of how much work/effort the musicians put into creating this work of art that will remain timeless forever. And I think of how they may make very little to no money for this gem. And then I'm reminded that Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga make tens of millions of dollars doing their corporate backed albums that contains songs that have the same exact 1-2 chords over and over with a drum machine along with lyrics that refer to tweets and twitters and material things and the love of money and power.

this is the Van Gogh of music. It won't sell much as the masses won't listen to it. But 50-100 years from now, people will listen to this and go "Wow!!!" (which is more than I can say for a Gaga/Bieber (or anyone who appears on American idol or backed by the US top 40)).

Report this review (#868202)
Posted Wednesday, November 28, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Progressive captivating delicacy.

Fine blend of Folk, Post-Rock, Ambient, with a good dose of progression.

The Glockenspiel serves to give the music a special touch, distinctive. The first theme Three Jumps the Devil, and especially his first minutes tested the role of this instrument, executed brilliantly by Foster and Evans.

Rosa is growing in intensity as it progresses and goes through different areas in its 16 minutes duration.

Brightening Sky, with its refined trumpet and flute, is another winner, and perhaps the strongest song but with sections calm and female voice in some parts.

And to mention another outstanding theme, choose Thief. Already a classic for me. The rest is also remarkable.

Robbie Wilson's voice has a kinship with Elbow's Guy Harvey. Appropriate for the occasion.

Autumn Chorus is a perfect name to describe the intricate musical direction of the band. Directly aimed at human emotions. 4,5

Report this review (#951201)
Posted Sunday, April 28, 2013 | Review Permalink
Second Life Syndrome
3 stars This album seemed to have quite a bit of promise, as I was looking forward to the mixture of symphonic prog, folk, and rock. However, I can't seem to get into this album at all. It's not that it is bad, it just isn't my cup of tea.

Right off the bat, the singer reminds me of the singer in the band Infictions. I don't believe they are one and the same, but I would be fooled. They sound almost identical. This also means that the vox have an indie rock spin to them. I'm not a huge fan of this, but it's okay. I also noticed the conspicuous lack of guitar through much of the album; but, when it arrives, it is standard indie fare. I'm not a huge fan of this either.

Yet, I would still enjoy the album if there were more, I don't know, "meat" to the sound. There are symphonic passages, and I would normally love these parts. Yet, they seem soulless and just average. In fact, much of the album is rather ambient in nature: Ambient symphonics play as the vocalist sings---not much else happens. Altogether, it is an interesting band, but not one that I really like particularly. Add to all this that the album seems to center around lovesick frivolities, and I really am not horribly interested in listening to it more than I have already.

Report this review (#951526)
Posted Monday, April 29, 2013 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Old English horizons

I like the coincidence that at the time I stumbled across this little treasure recorded in the Sussex countryside, I happened to be watching a story about a ninth century Wessex king trying to fend off the invading Northmen. Perfect music for such images. Autumn Chorus, residing in Brighton, have been around for many years but this 2012 disc is their sole release to date.

The soft and pastoral sound of Autumn Chorus is perfect backdrop to any exploration of old south England, as triumphant as tattered flags with dragons, as worn as hardened dirt paths connecting one small village to another. I would call the sound post-rock mixed with folk-progressive and light symphonic influences. A woodsy vibe mixed with ambient rock, Yorke like vocals and wide cinematic post rock scope. The guitars shimmer throughout over very dense soundscape and lilting piano. Occasional strings, flute, and female vocals add wonderful atmospheres when the come in. At times the lovely acoustic guitar parts even reminded me of Ant Phillips. As some mentioned this album doesn't rock in the conventional sense, it mostly moves at a glacial pace and rewards the patient listener. They spent a lot of time trying to make sure everything was just perfect, like a director waiting for the right light for a shot. It really is an album you can get lost in. This is the work of great friends and it is a lovely recording though not a masterpiece in my book. Beautiful and well worth hearing though.

Report this review (#1591411)
Posted Monday, July 25, 2016 | Review Permalink
4 stars A wonderfully constructed album. The band combines classical music, folk, postrock and symphonic progressive rock. The singer has a classical approach wich really adds to the pastoral and nostalgic feel of the music.

I really enojoy this kind of music. No emphasis on guitarsolos and heavy drumming. Also the production is really warm and the music sounds really sympathetic. The band uses analog and old fashioned instruments, like trumpet and organ but also flute and glockenspiel. There are hints of Mike Oldfield aswell. The whole albums sounds like a movie. It's dreamy, warm and the band take their time to slowly build the songs. Really recommended for people who enjoy postrock with classical and folk influences.

Report this review (#1767608)
Posted Monday, July 31, 2017 | Review Permalink

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