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Autumn Breeze

Symphonic Prog

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Autumn Breeze Höstbris album cover
3.52 | 26 ratings | 5 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1979

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Höstbris (5:50)
2. Ugglans Nattvisir (3:40)
3. Suite (4:10) :
- a) Arterios Kleros
- b) Mirage
- c) Seagull
4. Falsk Ouverture (2:40)
5. Finalen (2:50)
6. Um Mani Padme Hum (5:10)
7. Jordnära (5:20)
8. U P A (3:00)
9. Den Stora Visionen (3:50)
10. Våren (2:40)

Total Time 39:10

Line-up / Musicians

- Birgitta Nilsson / vocals
- Gert Nilsson / guitar
- Jan-Anders Warnqvist / keyboards
- Gert Magnusson / flute
- Kenneth Halvarsson / bass, clarinet, saxophone
- Lennart Olsson / drums & percussion

- Torbjörn Strand / violin (10)

Releases information

Artwork: Åsa Holmgren

LP Ö Records ‎- ÖR-L26 (1979, Sweden)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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AUTUMN BREEZE Höstbris ratings distribution

(26 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (15%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

AUTUMN BREEZE Höstbris reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by bhikkhu
4 stars Back in 2007 I wrote a review of "Höstbris" (which I deleted in favor of this one) and the primary motivation was the absence of any review at all for this album. My opinion wasn't negative but neither was it very complimentary. I also believe I was listing to a lot of very edgy material then so something more subdued would have had a harder time capturing my interest. Odds are that I didn't really give Autumn Breeze a fair assessment.

Later on Jan Warnqvist got in touch with me and asked if I was interested in reviewing Autumn Breeze music. Not having been too excited in the first place, I wasn't very enthusiastic about it. However, there were two new packages of previously unreleased material (reviews to follow), and Jan was also nice enough to provide me with copies of everything. Because of this I gave Swedish progressive band Autumn Breeze another look, and I'm glad I did.

As I said in my original review, there is nothing groundbreaking about "Höstbris." It is also not going to jump out and grab you right away. The charm is in how subtly unique the music is, and exactly what I let pass me by previously. This is definitely prog, but the grandeur is somewhat subdued and accessible. This may be the reason it is so easy to overlook what does make this so special. It is so relaxed that the odd blending of styles could be completely missed.

The band managed to fuse jangly guitars, new wave synths, and an almost disco funk groove in "Suite." The title track has some Kraftwerk-esque keyboards mixed with more traditional symphonic prog sensibilities. "Finalen" has a strong folk feel. "Um Mani Pademe Hum" bears no resemblance to the Buddhist chant, but is more of a space rocker. "UPA" is funk a la prog. "Den Stora Visionen" has an appealing jazz foundation. Through it all there is ample use of flute, harpsichord sounds, fuzz guitar, acoustic guitar, and a hint of psychedelia.

Unfortunately I panned the vocals in my first review. Now I see Birgitta Nilsson's style as adding to the overall charm. Her singing is actually more in line with the alternative styles of the time. Once again, understated, so you have to look for it. The almost off key wavering is just one more unique quality added to the mix.

With these kind of descriptions, it might seem as if this album is either very dense, or a jumbled mess. Neither of which is true. "Höstbris" is mainly a very pleasant listening experience. The grooves are very easy to get into, and everything is done with a light touch. I especially enjoy it while driving. Check it out. This really is a lost gem.

H.T. Riekels

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars Each time I listen the words Sweden and Progressive Rock together, I expect quality music, and AUTUMN BREEZE is not the exception, even though not as complex as their peers of the 70's, the musical conception is quite interesting.

A few months ago I received a PM from the band's keyboardist Jan Warnqvist, informing me about the release of two new albums and just recently he sent me a copy of the three AUTUMN BREEZE releases, that I been listening carefully in the past days So will start in order with their first official release "Höstbris":

The album starts with the title song, a dramatic instrumental with an excellent guitar and keyboards work, even though the structure is clearly Symphonic, there are evident touches of Psychedelia, something unusual for the late 70's. Some of the changes are quite radical, but by general rule the music flows gently from start to the frenetic end.

"Ugglans Nattvisir" is different, almost like a middle point between Progressive and Proto Prog, thanks God avoiding the temptation of playing AOR, a sound that was so popular in 1978. As in the opener, the Psyche elements remind me of the excellent Peruvian band "LAGHONIA".

This is the first track in which "Briggitta Nilsson" sings, and her style is very peculiar, she adds some dissonances that may seem like she's singing a bit out of tone, but without reaching excessive limits that reach incoherence, good song.

"Suite" is a short song structured as a multi part epic, in which the flute takes the lead, jumping from frenetic passages to soft sections "a la Focus", the guitar style is absolutely delightful, I don't know if it's just me, but reminds me a bit of German New Wave, until the fantastic flute brings us back to Prog territory.

"Falsk Ouverture" is one of the higher points in the album, the bass - guitar interplay sounds like a controlled version of URIAH HEEP, even the main melody maintains that mysterious sound of the famous Hard Prog band, but with a touch of SANTANA, very good combo.

Again the band returns to the dramatic sound of the opener with "Finalen", the keyboards enhanced with the flute are simply brilliant, there's a strong melancholy and drama in the music that I love so much, but again the distorted and sentimental guitar takes the lead while the keyboards add that oneiric sound, beautiful melody and great performance.

When I read the title "Um Mani Pad Me Um" I expected an oriental, almost religious song, being that this is the most basic mantras of Tibetan Buddhism, but the song is fast and fluid, with a clear late 60's sound, this time with radical changes, brilliant drumming and again beautiful flute. Only around the middle, the prayer is repeated in the classic Tibetan way and the keyboards take the lead role, another high point.

"Jordnara" is a weird ballad with a certain influence of PINK FLOYD, "Briggitta Nilsson" adds her peculiar style to a song that flows perfectly from start to end with an excellent guitar (somehow reminiscent of Gilmour) and keyboards work, absolutely trippy.

Now is the turn for "UPA", an unusual song for the band, starts jazzy and strong but as the song advances keeps loosing strength and turning more into some sort of light Jazz in the vein of Herp Albert............But hey wait, around the end changes into some tort of Electronic Prog with some influences from KRAFTWERK (even when lighter), interesting combination.

"Den Stora Visionen" follows in the line of the previous song (at least at the start), soft and fluid, but after some seconds Jan-Anders Warnqvist marks a total change with a frenetic and wonderful organ solo that immediately leads to Briggita's voice who sings a of Cabaret Jazz, an effect that is enhanced by the language.

"Varen" is a soft and charming melodic song with violins and Jan-Anders Warnqvist's piano at it's best. If there's something that impresses me of AUTUMN BREEZE is their ability to move from one style and mood to a radically different one, which shows an unusual versatility. Now they play a fascinating melody that I enjoyed from the start.

The album is closed with "Medly", what I guess could mean Medley, being that fragments of previous songs of the album can be listened, but strangely sopund very coherent, as if written to be played exclusively in this way...Great closer.

I read in ProgArchives and other sites, some reviewers find AUTUMN BREEZE'S music extremely light and borderline with mainstream, by the contrary I found "Höstbris" very versatile and elaborate, lets remember that by the end of the 70's, most of the iconic bands were doing some sort of Pop Prog but this Swedish guys were creating different but still fully Prog music.

I won't say it's an essential masterpiece, but without doubt is an excellent addition for any Prog Rock Collection, so 4 stars is my rating.

Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars Here’s an album that starts off promising enough, with keyboardist Jan-Anders Warnqvist and guitarist Gert Nilsson laying down the lazy opening title track instrumental full of keyboard theme variations and some pretty decent low-slung guitar. The influences of Camel and, to a lesser extent Gentle Giant, are obvious and pervasive.

Like I said, a promising beginning but not the total picture of this band’s first and only proper studio release. The follow-on track “Ugglans Nattvisir” introduces vocalist Birgitta Nilsson, a slightly bouncier keyboard feel and a persistent and almost disco rhythm that belies the time in which the music was recorded (late seventies). In addition to bass Kenneth Halvarsson lays down some decent saxophone, but the band by now has revealed two sides to their sound that seem to compete for the rest of the album. Both sides are present in the three part “Suite”, and at times Warnquist seems to struggle to innovate on keyboards and resorts to repetitive passages that flirt with a progressive sound but sometimes come up just a bit short. This carries through to “Falsk Ouverture” which also seems to be a thought in search of completion; pleasant, but in the end not exactly awe-inspiring.

The band returns to their British prog-folk influences at times to good effect, most notably on “Finalen” and “Upa”, the latter which flirts just a bit with a mild jazzy and rather convincing ennui. But the vocal tracks fail to quite meet the challenge of what the rest of the band is trying to achieve instrumentally, and in the end this and the sometimes unwanted intrusion of contemporary rock rhythms take away from what could have been a better classically- leaning symphonic album.

I guess these guys rediscovered some lost material (including live tracks) and put out a compilation not too long ago. I’d like to hunt that one down and see how it compares to this studio release. As it stands this one merits a three star rating based on the better symphonic parts, but not more since the sometimes noodling repetition and rather weak vocals keep it from being anything more. Recommended to fans of Nordic symphonic and prog-folk rock of the seventies as well as those who prefer the laconic music of bands like Camel and Harmonium.


Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars In 1979 the time had eventually come for Autumn Breeze's only known official album from the 70's.The line-up of the group at the time was Birgitta Nilsson on vocals, Gert Nilsson on guitar, Kenneth Halvarsson on bass, clarinet and sax, Gert Magnusson on flute, Lennart Olsson on drums and student Jan-Anders Warnquist on keyboards.''Hostbris'' was recorded in just a week at the CMC Studio in Autumn Breeze's hometown Arvika and released on the Orecords label.

To my ears this works sounds exactly how an album should sound saying farewell to the Classic Prog era and opening the doors of a more conventional style, marking it as a nice example of late-70's Prog Rock.Basically ''Hostbris'' is much more symphonic than any of Autumn Breeze's previous outakes withot loosing the certain psychedelic depth of the early recordings.It is just a more melodic, tightly structured and more focused work with short tracks, retaining the true spirit of Progressive Rock and leaving the genre's most creative period for an upcoming contemporary age.They sound often like the Swedish CAMEL due to the strong use of flute with a definite Scandinavian taste on vocals and atmosphere but also a fair amount of synths and electrified guitars next to the discreet organ and the scarce Mellotron echoes.They remind me also of some mellow bands from the Teutonic Symphonic Rock scene, a bit of ANTARES, a bit of REBEKKA and even a bit of ANYONE'S DAUGHTER stylings.While all tracks are rather short, the music is very nice with beautiful flute themes and decent keyboard arrangements with changing synths and analog instrumentation, mostly perfomed in a somber mood and offering lots of instrumental room for some symphonic textures.Compatriots ISILDURS BANE could be another good reference point.Nice, melodious soundscapes with downtempo music, occasionally flavored by slightly psychedelic nuances and an overall extremely balanced sound with fine female vocals.The production is unfortunately pretty mediocre.

As the album's fame is constantly rising over the years, no proper CD offering has appeared in the horizon, the only one known being the bootleg Tachika reissue.Pretty good example of late-70's Prog Rock with a strong symphonic/melodic content, which deserves a more fair treatment.Warmly recommended.

Latest members reviews

4 stars First time I came across the name "Autumn Breeze" was when someone had sprayed the bands name in big white capital letters on a mountain wall which I had to pass every day on the way to school. I had no idea what this was about, until 10 years later then I found a copy of the "Höstbris" LP in ... (read more)

Report this review (#244903) | Posted by Volcanic | Friday, October 16, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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