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THE MOLOTOV RIBBENTROP PACT

Autumn Breeze

Symphonic Prog


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Autumn Breeze The Molotov Ribbentrop Pact album cover
4.13 | 28 ratings | 3 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 2015

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Watchguard In Auswitch
2. Katyn
3. War 1
4. Vodka In The Moscow Night
5. War II
6. Helsinki fires in the night Music and instruments
7. War III
8. Party Girls (Molotovs song I)
9. Achtung (Ribbentrops song I)
10. War IV
11. Bliezkrieg
12. War V
13. Sun goes down over El-Alamain
14. Iv signed a pact with the Devil (Molotovs song II)
15. Paulina Semszjuchina (Molotovs song III)
16. War VI
17. Money from the USA
18. War VII
19. The Molotov Ribbentrop Pact
20. Hitlers Death
21. Hope

Line-up / Musicians

Gert Magnusson / lyrics & vocals
Lennart Olsson / drums
Kenneth Halvarsson / bass & vocals
Jan Warnqvist / Keyboards
Gert Magnusson / lyrics
Mikael Syväjärvi / guitars

Thanks to volcanic 2016 for the addition
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AUTUMN BREEZE The Molotov Ribbentrop Pact ratings distribution


4.13
(28 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
19%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(19%)
19%
Good, but non-essential (24%)
24%
Collectors/fans only (24%)
24%
Poor. Only for completionists (14%)
14%

AUTUMN BREEZE The Molotov Ribbentrop Pact reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars They took the risk and succeeded

A couple months ago received a message of Jan Warnqvist telling he would send me a copy of AUTUMNS BREEZE latest album "The MR Pact", honestly expected another pristine Symphonic album as they have done all along their career, but the name he sent, didn't prepared me for the surprise that was about to receive.

After months of problems with the Peruvian post office, received the album and the title was shocking...The Molotov Ribbentrop Pact, well it caught my interest being that I've been always interested in this obscure chapter of Soviet and German history, but when I read the titles noticed it is a conceptual album about the whole Second World War.

Honestly thought this guys were crazy, that they had bitten more than they could chew...Gladly I was wrong and noticed that in order to achieve success they have radically modified their musical approach, leaving Symphonic as just one more of the genres they cross to reach their goal, adding Heavy Rock, Avant, Post Rock, Folk, and many more styles that I can hardly describe but surely can enjoy.

I will avoid a song by song review being that as a conceptual album it must be listened from start to end (better in one session), but there are some high points that must mention.

The opener "Watchguard In Auswitch" works as a chaotic introduction to the war with Hitler speeches mixed with a collage of musical bits, and even when the song advances and turns into some sort of ultra-elaborate Symphonic, they dare to take risk with dissonant and even out of key choirs to express confusion and fear. Simply impressive.

"Vodka In The Moscow Night" in contrast is a beautiful rock track with a killer rhythm section and a nice guitar work by Mikael Syväjärvi who plays in the border of Prog Metal, while the band enters into a beautiful pandemonium of sounds and styles.

Now, if I have to choose one song, would go with "Paulina Semszjuchina (Molotovs song III)", a beautiful and softer track that blends marvelous Russian Folk music with a heartbreaking keyboard performance by Jan Warmqvist.

But as I said before, the tracks are not important individually, but f chapters of a story, what really impressed me is the whole album as a unity, being that the guys from Autumn Breeze have managed to create one of the best conceptual albums of the decade.

So if after a long career this guys dare to abandon the confort of "status quo" and change their sound so radically to create a great musical piece, I dare to rate them with 5 solid stars.

Highly recommended.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Prog is the one musical genre that reaches out to history and literature in order to create a soundtrack for a good story and further the depth of adventure and art. I always found it rather surprising that one of the most ground shaking events in history has had such a light influence on prog, as there are few references to WW2 around. I can think of Coda's understated "Symphony", Big Big Train's "Gathering Speed" and a few great tracks (Renaissance, Al Stewart, The Flower Kings) but there is quite a scarcity of material that focuses of the calamity of WW2. I have been studying and writing about this catastrophe since I was a young lad, fascinated by the extraordinary righteousness of that war, a rather rare event I can assure you, as no other war was as justified and ultimately heroic than the last big one. I shudder to think what life would have been like as an 'untermensch' under such a devilish authority. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact refers to that extremely treacherous and thus brief alliance between the 2 bitter idealistic rivals of WW2, Nazi Germany (represented by foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop) and the Soviet Union (foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov), the two opportunistically ganging up on their neighbour poor little Poland and attacking it from both sides. No time in history had ever witnessed two more brutal and sinister dictatorial governments, repressing their own populations with dreaded secret police (OGPU/NKVD on one side and the Gestapo/SS on the other), Stalin and Hitler are easily among the top three mass murderers in history. Swedish progressive artist Autumn Breeze took up the challenge and created a rather disturbing symphonic opus based on this clear example of political backstabbing and moral cowardice. Composer, lyricist and vocalist Gert Magnusson has researched this tragic event with a great amount of curiosity and interest, having read thoroughly amid various available archives and has come to the same conclusion that so many have come to: madmen can take over any society by promising illusion ("Nobody has to make war") and providing destruction. The various themes are all encompassing events that offer a window into a space and a time that still resonates today with potentially lethal consequences. There are tons of samples, hysterical speeches by Adolf Hitler, air raid sirens, detonations and pompous military bravado. The whole is deliberately chaotic, startling, at times monstrous and certainly never peaceful. Gert's hushed voice is brilliantly unique and original, sprinkling the tracks with quirk, strangeness and charm (Hey, Hawkwind). The backing crew is a full prog compliment of guitars, keys, bass and drums.

The opening song "Watchguard in Auswitch" (misspelled) is infectious, I was caught singing it the other day, a totally mesmerising intro into this quite eclectic recording. There are some extreme juxtapositions, a modern 'danse macabre' of colliding emotions, with contrasting manic guitar phrasings ("Vodka in the Moscow Night"), insane drum fills throughout and bizarre contradictions such as on "Katyn" the infamous massacre of the Polish elite in a forest that was blamed on the SS but in fact perpetrated by the NKVD, the Soviet secret police. 22,000 of Poland's finest minds, including military officers, diplomats, landowners, priests, jurists and politicians who were shot and reduced to disappear into mass graves. The chorus sounds almost like a love song until one realizes the context! There are Zappa-esque moments, such as the rumbling bass and oddball weirdness on "Helsinki fires in the Night" referring to the pre-WW2 Soviet invasion of Finland and the subsequent valiant defence put up by the taciturn Finns who beat the living daylight of the Red Army, a 10/1 kill ratio that is still taught today at military academies such as West Point, Sandhurst and St-Cyr. There are also moments that are straight out oblique rock music twists that wink at RIO and Avant, throwing in some cabaret stylings as well, raunchy guitar not withstanding (Party Girls). Carnival piano and merry-go-round 'Achtung' nods at Falco (the 80s Austrian rock singer who died in his prime). The miss- spelled "Bliezkrieg" is reminiscent of electronic duo Yello in its insistence and almost danceable mania. There is also a ton of sarcasm as the USA literally became an overnight super-power when attacked at Pearl Harbor, something many people seem to forget. And on it goes until Hitler's death.

This is a disturbing, choppy, frenzied, insidious musical symphony of immense originality and a rarity in the prog world, a subject matter still relatively untouched for reasons that I cannot understand.

5 fall winds

Latest members reviews

4 stars It´s been a couple of years since we last heard from Sweden's pride "Autumn Breeze", The trilogy 20:12 was an ambitious work of art and supposedly a Hugh project for the key members involved, probably hard to top!? But even this 2015 release takes off in a conceptual direction, a theme album wit ... (read more)

Report this review (#1543163) | Posted by volcanic 2016 | Wednesday, March 23, 2016 | Review Permanlink

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