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Mostly Autumn - The Last Bright Light CD (album) cover


Mostly Autumn


Prog Folk

3.97 | 223 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is the album that marked the progress of a band from an underground, cult outfit (i.e. one that not many people had heard of) to one noticed very much by the rock press and playing to substantially larger venues. It is also the album that convinced me that they would be at the vanguard of the new wave of progressive bands emerging in the UK and wider afield.

Bryan Josh is by his own admission, not the most tuneful of vocalists. However, what he lacks in formal training he makes up for in raw emotion and passion, and readers should also definitely check out the later MA and his solo LP to see evidence of huge improvement. But the one thing that makes him stand out from a large crowd is his absolute mastery of the guitar. He is simply magnificent and combines thoughtful acoustic work with stunning bursts of electric solos.

However, the vocal draw for me has to be Heather Findlay. She has a stunning range and can also belt out a stormer as well. I will also give a special mention to Angela Goldthorpe, who provides excellent backing vocals and also has the finest flute heard in prog since the halcyon days of Anderson & Gabriel. It is nice to see such a lovely instrument employed to good effect on this LP. To hear the flute solo on Which Wood? is to simply reminisce in days gone by.

Highlights are many on this, but the first track that made me sit up and take real notice was Half The Mountain, a Josh vocal containing quite an outstanding guitar solo. From this, it is easy to see why Ritchie Blackmore was such an early patron of Josh and the band.

The Last Bright Light contains everything, including Gregorian chants. My favourite, however, is the Findlay vocal and composition Shrinking Violet, which recounts her deep rooted troubles in formative years, and it is an excellent and powerful lyric and track. The end passage, when her chants combine with a hugely powerful Josh guitar solo simply takes the breath away.

There are many influences on this LP. There is heavy rock a la Rainbow/Deep Purple, folk rock a la Jethro Tull, very large Celtic sounds, and, of course, the obvious Pink Floyd references, most clear on the final track, Mother Nature. There is on this a cracking passage where Josh & Findlay belt out the Sometimes... sequence before the music descends into a very obvious Floyd Wish You Were Here era inspired closing sequence.. That is not said to denigrate the track - it is lush and Josh and Jennings play beautifully.

If you are after a blend of harder rock, Celtic tinged music, folk, and Floyd, combined with some of the best female vocals in the genre and exceptional guitar work, then this LP is definitely for you. Four stars for this, but probably worth 4.5.

lazland | 4/5 |


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