Mostly Autumn – Graveyard Star

Posted: 260921

Review Erik Neuteboom

I am familiar with this prog septet (founded in 1995) from the very first beginning, and experienced during the years how they turned from an obviously Pink Floyd inspired band into an unique highly acclaimed folk prog formation. On stage Mostly Autumn is even more impressive, I have witnessed that many times, especially in De Boerderij (in 2013 the band recorded a live album in that very popular Dutch progrock temple). Since the debut CD For All We Shared from 1999 Mostly Autumn releases many records, this new album entitled Graveyard Star is their 14th  studio-album!

The album opens with the epic titletrack, within a few minutes I am carried away! First a wonderful orchestral keyboard sound, then tender vocals join, the combination of a melancholical male voice and angelic female voice is awesome. Next a very compelling build-up featuring fat synthesizer drops, soaring flute and slow drum beats. Gradually the music turns into more lush, culminating into bombastic, topped with exciting fiery and howling guitar runs, thunderous drums, and majestic keyboards. Halfway the atmosphere shifts to mellow with twanging acoustic guitars and warm duo vocals, then a long moving guitar solo in a slow rhythm and bombastic climate, goose bumps! The final part delivers soaring keyboards, propulsive drums and guitar riff, again very compelling prog, Olivia shines with her powerful and emotional voice! These musicians know how to push the right prog buttons, what a majestic epic composition!

The next 10 melodic and harmonic tracks (between 2 and 7 minutes) deliver a lot of variety, my highlights.

Skin of Mankind : A catchy beat, blended with a typical Sixties R&R guitar sound and beautiful female vocals, and embellished with an intense violin solo and emotional female vocals.

Shadows : This song alternates between mellow with warm vocals and acoustic rhythm guitar and sumptuous eruption with sensitive guitar and howling Gilmourian runs.

The Harder That You Hurt : Another track with strong emotional undertones, from dreamy vocals and fragile guitar work to bombastic with powerful female vocals.

Razor Blade : First mellow with tender piano and guitar, halfway more lush with spacey synthesizer flights and moving guitar, topped with again that strong voice from Olivia.

This Endless War: This track contains a dreamy climate featuring melancholical female vocals, culminating in a fiery guitar solo, goose bumps!

The final composition Turn Around Slowly is the second epic track. It starts dreamy with acoustic guitar and keyboards, then a slow rhythm with male vocals (evoking David Gilmour), turning into more bombastic, and culminating in a fiery and moving guitar, in the 24-carat tradition of David Gilmour, supported by majestic keyboards, goose bumps! Halfway the mood shifts to a propulsive beat with powerful male vocals, joined by a bagpipe-like sound, this sounds as a another strong musical idea. Finally an exciting accellaration, topped with powerful female vocals. I love the sumptuous and compelling atmosphere with fiery and moving guitar, high-pitched female vocals, trademark Mostly Autumn, what a splendid grand finale.

Mostly Autumn have sublimated a rollercoaster of deep and dark feelings and emotions into music in an awesome way. To be honest, I am not familiar with all Mostly Autumn albums, but to me Graveyard Star sounds as the most captivating and elaborate effort I have listened to in all those years, perhaps their best album?