Mostly Autumn - The Last Bright Light

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Cyclops
Catalog Number: CYCL100
Format: CD
Total Time: 00:00:00

In pure Mostly Autumn tradition the album starts with the closing section of their previous album The Spirit Of Autumn Past. The pure Irish influence of "? Just Moving On" kind of reminds me of Mark Knopfler?s Last Hero soundtrack. Whilst Bryan Josh?s guitar style has often been compared to that of David Gilmour, "We Come And We Go" comes very close to Wish You Were Here-era Pink Floyd, especially where the build up and the backing vocals are concerned. Keyboard player Iain Jennings also adds that unmistakeable Hammond sound. The band?s love for nature goes on during "Half The Mountain" which once again goes back to WYWH period Floyd with some subtle piano playing and acoustic guitar nicely backing an interesting and joyful vocal melody. Another great build up with some wonderful flute playing to match.

Acoustic guitars lay out the path for Heather Findlay?s fragile and pure vocals in "The Eyes Of The Forest" whilst the flute here reminds me of Thijs Van Leer. "The Dark Before The Storm" fuses a Vangelis-like introduction with a folky uptempo knees-up, filled with great sounding flutes that will certainly be a live favourite, judging from the monumental finish. Back to laidback sounds with Heather?s warm voice leading us through "Hollow," backed by wonderful piano and sparse guitars. It?s the kind of song which would be essential on a Stevie Nicks album, deserving massive media attention. I also have to mention Iain?s sensational use of the electric piano clearly making way for one of Bryan?s breathtaking guitar solos. The string section towards the end certainly does the song a lot of justice but once again I have to admit this would be a hundredfold better if a real orchestra were used. So where are all those millionaires who don?t know what to do with their money? Time you invested in some real culture pals!

Celtic atmosphere galore in "Prints In The Stone" sung here by guitarist Liam Davison, which has you think of Camel?s "Harbour Of Tears" combined with the highlights of Riverdance. The title track "The Last Bright Light" goes back to an even "older" atmosphere, what with including both Gregorian vocals and the talents of Des Geyers leader Albert Dannenmann on Krumhorn and Renaissance recorders. Here Bryan?s voice gets very close to that of Roger Waters, whilst the rhythm gets more power once the bodhran sets in. The fierce "Never The Rainbow" will certainly deliver live fireworks as it holds all the ingredients necessary to have the crowd up and dancing! The guitars are harder than normal, Jonathan?s drum work is outstanding and then there?s that superb Hammond sound from Iain. Yes! The balance is once again changed in favour of a more laidback approach with "Shrinking Violet." This is another gem especially where the build up and the arrangement is concerned. The acoustic "finesse" is kind of disturbed by Gilmour-ish guitars and loads of choral vocals even including some 7-year olds right at the very end, giving it an extra touch. Maybe this song is the "Evergreen" of this album?

"Shrinking Violet" evolves into "Helms Deep" by means of synthesized "wind." "Helms Deep? is another track which guests Albert Dannenman, this time using German Renaissance bagpipes (Hummelchen), Spanish bagpipes (Gaita), Renaissance recorders and also solo soprano in the intro, which really steers this song towards the direction of a true "jig," which will certainly be a crowd pleaser. Again Iain does wonders on the Hammond which is halted by means of the bodhran, once again introducing the folk heritage. "Which Wood?" is Angela Goldthorpe?s contribution to the album. In this instrumental beauty she illustrates her great sense of melody and her skills on the flute. The album closes with the epic "Mother Nature" which is kind of a statement for the band expressing their love for nature. Dedicated to his mum Jean, Bryan approaches this song from a very acoustic angle which kind of reminds me of the opening of "The Musical Box" what with acoustic guitar and piano blending nicely together just like Bryan?s and Heather?s voices. If this song is a statement of the beauty of nature then maybe Greenpeace should start selling Mostly Autumn albums. Again the backing vocals are firmly rooted in the Pink Floyd tradition, with Bryan?s guitar soaring throughout the musical landscape. The song then roars its ugly head towards a powerful finale incorporating thunderstruck, finding its way to the fierce rhythm. Howling winds introduce a more laidback guitar played with loads of emotion sometimes getting close to Blackmore?s "Catch The Rainbow." Synthesized wind brings this majestic album to a close. At least we know how the fourth album will begin ?

The Last Bright Light sees Mostly Autumn evolve from a good sounding hobby club to a mature half-professional band. Now all they need is for a couple of million people to buy their album!

Do also read the exclusive Mostly Autumn interview in the recent issue (#37) of Progression magazine.

Mostly Autumn

Just Moving On / We Come And We Go / Half The Mountain / The Eyes Of The Forest / The Dark Before The Dawn / Hollow / Prints In The Stone / The Last Bright Light / Never The Rainbow / Shrinking Violet / Helms Deep / Which Wood? / Mother Nature

Bryan Josh - lead and rhythm electric guitar, 6 & 12 string acoustic guitars, lead vocals, gregorian vocals
Heather Findlay - lead and background vocals, bodhran, tambourine, bells
Iain Jennings - keyboards, synthesizers, hammond organ, backing vocals, Gregorian vocals
Liam Davison - electric slide guitar, 6 & 12 string acoustic guitar, lead vocals
Angela Goldthorpe - flute, recorders, renaissance recorders, backing vocals
Andy Smith - bass
Jonathan Blackmore - drums

For All We Shared... (1998)
The Spirit Of Autumn Past (1999)
The Last Bright Light (2001)
The Story So Far... (2001)
Music Inspired By The Lord Of The Rings (2002)
Heroes Never Die - The Anthology (2002)
Fiddler's Shindig (Live Series So Far) (2003)
Live In The USA (Live Series So Far) (2003)
Live At The Canterbury Fayre (2003)
Passengers (2003)
Catch The Spirit: Complete Anthology (2003)
Pink Floyd Revisited (2004)
Live At The Grand Opera House (2004)
Storms Over Still Water (2005)
The V Shows (2005)
Storms Over London Town (2006)
Heart Full Of Sky (2007)
Glass Shadows (2008)
Live 2009 - Part I (2009)
Live 2009 - Part II (2009)
Pass The Clock (2009)
Go Well Diamond Heart (2010)
That Night In Leamington (2011)
Still Beautiful - Live 2011 (2011)
Live At High Voltage 2011 (2011)
Live At The Boerderij (2013)

The Ghost Moon Orchestra (2012)

The Story So Far... (DVD) (2002)
The Next Chapter (DVD) (2003)
At The Grand Opera House (DVD) (2003)
The V Shows (DVD) (2004)
Pink Floyd Revisited (DVD) (2005)
The Fiddler's Shindig (DVD) (2005)
Passengers (DVD) (2006)
That Night In Leamington (DVD) (2010)
Live At The Boerderij (DVD) (2013)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: January 1st 2001
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 1142
Language: english


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