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Höstsonaten - Summereve CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.94 | 313 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Although summer is just beginning for us in the Northern hemisphere, Höstsonaten's Summereve brings the band's 4-album season cycle to a close. I was intrigued by the multi-album concept, and the few samples I heard sounded great, so I picked it up right away. I'm glad I did, because from the first listen I was hooked. I've been really enjoying Summereve, and although I haven't heard the other 3 seasons of the year yet, I'm looking forward to getting a bit chilly and watching the leaves fall.

The first thing that should be known about Summereve is the style of music the band employs. There are equal parts rock and classical music at work here, and you're just as likely to hear a guitar solo as you are a violin and flute duet in the same song. The wind and string pair are in fact a major part of the sound of Summereve, and they are heavily featured on each song. The other instruments get their fair play as well, such as acoustic and electric guitars, piano, synthesizers and Mellotron. The keyboards get the most time to shine, but every instrument is integral in creating the great atmosphere. The synthesizers sound great paired with the more pure sounding classical instruments, and the Mellotron's choirs create some incredibly powerful moments.

Of course, what good would a nice collection of instruments be without good songs to go along with? The overture acquaints the listener with the album's sound, though there is only one true theme that gets a reprise at the very end. The rest of the melodies of the overture evoke the feeling of the songs they relate to, but are never quite the same and can be difficult to recognize later on. Besides a short few spoken lines in a later song, Summereve is completely instrumental, and very melodic. The instruments help to paint the picture of summer, ranging from warm nights to rainy afternoons and calm waters. There is a good mix of fast and slow paced songs, and the drums really aid in making the difference in the atmosphere. The music never gets particularly complex, but what it lacks in technicality it makes up for in aesthetics.

Besides the 10 minute opener, each song hovers around 5 minutes, and are quite good on their own. The first half of the songs all have a different feel, though by the time the end had come I had grown a little tired of the flue and violin pair. Although the guitar solos are all very well done, I wouldn't have minded if another one had been substituted for a passage of one of those two instruments, simply for how cool the contrast in sound is. Other than this, the main issue with Summereve comes right at the end. The main theme from the overture comes back in a triumphant fashion and builds to what seems like a great climax. Rather than fulfilling that tension by brining it home, the guitar drops down in the mix on the last note, and some quick, solo drums, close it out. I have suspicions that this will match up with the intro to the fall album, Autumnsong, but I have no way of checking currently.

Even though this ends up being a pretty disappointing ending, it doesn't ruin anything that came before it. Regardless of a giant climax in the last few seconds, the previous 40 minutes of music are generally really beautiful and a joy to listen to. The album goes by fast, and besides my complaint with the overuse of the flue and violin, I really enjoy listening to it all the way through. If you're already a fan of Höstsonaten's work you're probably going to want to finish the season cycle, and even if you're new to the band, this is a good one to check out before the year comes to a close.

m2thek | 4/5 |


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