Released by: Independent
Release Date: Out Now!!!
Genre: Progressive Rock
Bryan Josh – Lead Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards, Tambourine
Olivia Sparnenn-Josh – Lead Vocals, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Iain Jennings – Keyboards, Hammond Organ
Andy Smith – Bass
Henry Rogers – Drums
Chris Johnson – Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards, Lead Vocals (track 11)
Angela Gordon – Flute, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals (track 11)
01. Graveyard Star
02. The Plague Bell
03. Skin of Mankind
05. The Harder That You Hurt
06. Razor Blade
07. This Endless War
08. Spirit of Mankind
09. Back in These Arms
10. Free to Fly
11. The Diamond
12. Turn Around Slowly
As we go further and further into the pandemic, the first concept albums about these strange times are delivered, and I think we will see many more releases about the pandemic in the future to come. Anyway, MOSTLY AUTUMN is a legendary band that have been around for decades now, and they have also released many albums during this period, and now they release a new album titled Graveyard Star, which contains material they wrote and recorded during the pandemic, so the lyrics are quite often related to their experiences during 2020 and 2021. The band’s current line-up consists of Angela Gordon (flute, vocals), Iain Jennings (keys, Hammond organ), Chris Johnson (vocals, guitar, keys, vocals), Bryan Josh (vocals, keys, guitar. tambourin), Henry Rogers (drums), Andy Smith (bass) and Olivia Sparnenn-Josh (vocals, keys), with as guests Troy Donocley (NIGHTWISH) on uilleann pipes, whistles and Portugese mandola, and Chris Leslie (FAIRPORT CONVENTION) on violin.
Opener and titletrack Graveyard Star starts calm as a nice duet between Bryan and Olivia, kinda in a PINK FLOYD meets PETER GABRIELish sympho/prog direction, but as the song develops and the catchy ultra-melodic female fronted chorus comes around, we dive into high class uptempo progressive melodic rock at it’s very best, while the song also has a calmer acoustic part somewhere along the way as well as an incredible melodic soaring guitarsolo before it picks up the catchy AORish chorus (HEART/LANA LANE) again in the last minute of this 12 minutes counting epic journey of what might be called the best MOSTLY AUTUMN song ever recorded! All together when starting an album like this you cannot possible go wrong anymore, because this first song is such a sensational progrock masterpiece, and thankfully the whole album is a great adventure with a lot of diversity going on, because it’s not only prog, classic rock and melodic rock orientated! Secretly there’s a lot more to discover here and there, such as the celtic/folk influences during the beautiful Skin of Mankind that has a certain RENAISSANCE meets BLACKMORE’S NIGHT kinda feeling.
The combination of male and female vocals work so well and the melodies in each and every song on this new MOSTLY AUTUMN album are timeless and it should appeal to basically everyone out there. MOSTLY AUTUMN has been in the music business for many years now, and I have seen them live a few times, and they keep on developing and absolutely never disappoint, but with this new album Graveyard Star they might have released their best album so far!
This album is of such an incredible high level, and besides the aforementioned songs other highlights are are the PENDRAGONish midtempo melodic progrocker Shadows (including superb guitarsolo), the emotional KAYAKish theatrical symphonic Power AOR ballads The Harder That You Hurt and This Endless War, and the uptempo Spirit Of Mankind (almost reminding me of MARGARET BECKER during her early AOR/Rock years). Words cannot describe how incredible this album is, so do yourself a favor and check out this superb masterpiece a.s.a.p.!
Written by: Gabor Kleinbloesem
Ratings: Gabor 9/10