Ghost Moon Orchestra
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The Ghost Moon Orchestra
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The Ghost Moon Orchestra wird bereits als bestes Album, das Mostly Autumn je aufgenommen haben, gehandelt. Songwriting, Performance und Produktion sind fantastisch, Olivia Sparnenns Gesang erreicht neue Höhen und Bryan Josh liefert seine bislang beste Gitarrenarbeit ab. Das Album bildet thematisch, lyrisch und harmonisch eine Einheit, die so bei Mostly Autumn nicht da war.
Biographie der Mitwirkenden
Already regarded as one of the best albums Mostly Autumn has ever produced, this album is simply stunning. The songwriting, performance and production are superb, with Olivia Sparnenn s vocals reaching new heights and featuring some of Bryan Josh s best guitar work to date. There's a unity to the album, thematically, lyrically and harmonically - it really is a complete piece of work. Mostly Autumn may not be a household name but it has built a loyal and cult following since its first album thirteen years ago. In that time such luminaries as the late Richard Wright of Pink Floyd, Deep Purple's Jon Lord and the BBC's own Bob Harris are amongst its many fans. Mostly Autumn has also toured as an invited support act to Blackmore's Night, Uriah Heep and Jethro Tull, as well as being special guests at Bryan Adam's Murrayfield Stadium gig a few years ago. That alone should give some indication as to the calibre of the band.
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Some years ago, I found some "Classic Rock" DVDs in a computer store. Some were of older Prog bands that I knew, and a couple were compilations of works from a diversity of modern and old folk and Prog.
I was intrigued by Karnataka, and a rather folky MA, neither of whom would be recognized in this country. Until then, I'd been blissfully unaware.. Another 700km round trip and I had DVDs of both bands, later learning that they were stable-mates of sorts. Then, a great struggle to find more of their music. Then Karnataka died, later rising Pheonix like, as Panic room. A new, very different Karnataka arose too.
MA, made of different stuff, but driven by Bryan Josh, has survived numerous changes, yet continued to make great music, with a clear folk base, but with more power and granduer, and very Proggy complexity and musicianship.
Much is made of their stong Floyd influence, which is undeniable. Josh's vocals are very Gilmour-like, and his guitar work is similar, but often given to real Heavy Rock, even metal touches.
I loved "Storm over Still Water", with so many truly beautiful and powerful songs...and they do great SONGS, boys and girls.
Much as Heather Findlay was lauded, I often found her the weak link. Still, after a number of very good albums, with few low points, SOSW was their best to 2005.
"Glass Shadows" and "Go well, Diamond Heart", though very good, had a tough act to follow.
2012 brings the best, strongest, immaculate MA effort yet, in "Ghost Moon Orchestra". This is a blend of the lightness and hope of our childhood, with the mystery and even darkness of adolescence and adulthood. There are dark creatures at the edge of perception..rather Lovecraft like, in a literary sense. I'd expect a Shoggoth to leap out of Malham Tarn! James Herriott and C'thulhu.
Great stuff. Meaning without being arcane.
Olivia Sparnenn I think has allowed Josh to push the boundaries, for a band never afraid to fill space with sound, and Josh himself steps back from the microphone, more of the time.
Ms Sparnenn's voice is not unlike Sharon Den Adel's has become...great mix of clarity, subtle range of strengths, power and drama, sweetness when necessary, all lacking in Ms Findlay's more ethereal style.
Josh's guitar-work is outstanding...not power for the sake of noise...great control, discipline. musicality, and the wailing becomes another voice. Melodic always. Great technician , playing from the heart.
The keyboards are similarly tasteful and mostly provide a gentler wash, at times given full throat even Hammond sounds...egad!. The percussion is, as usual, outstanding.
Troy Donockley gets a guernsey on two tracks. I'd like to hear him more often with MA.
Overall, this is a darker, heavier set, leaning towards Prog-Symph-metal, perhaps....(interesting that "Nightwish" continues its drift towards Holopeinen's folky incliniations...the two bands are similar in so many ways).
Which are the stand-out songs?...in truth, there are no lemons. This is so good through and through.
"Unquiet Tears", and "Drops of Sun" wack you in the face, and the rest may need a couple of listens to grock...but, grock them you will.
If you liked "Carpe Diem", or "Evergreen", this is the full-length big brother.
The album as a whole is somehow far more than sum of its tracks, best played when there's time to get all the way through and not skip. Though it doesn't sound like Josh & co set out to create a "concept album" in any kind of contrived way, there is a theme or three that ties it all together wondrous well. All the musicianship is on top form throughout, and Livvy Sparnnen's vocals fully fill the void left by Heather Findlay's departure .
Can't wait to see how MA fit all this into their live set-list! If your neck of the planet feels way out of range of the MA tourbus then look out come early 2013 for a DVD of their September 2012 gig in Zootermeer Netherlands