The Music of Autumn Breeze

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Autumn Breeze

Symphonic Prog

4.70 | 4 ratings


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Symphonic Prog Specialist Since the return of AUTUMN BREEZE after the 31 years sabbatical, the band started to work in a three part trilogy called 20:12 (The three tracks have an exact length of 20 minutes 12 seconds), but a few days ago my good friend and keyboardist Jan Warmqvist sent me a compilation CD of 20:12 with the three complete suites plus a 1:06 minutes untitled track (As a fact the photo of the album was scanned from my copy with the dedication signed by Jan, being that it's hard to find an image in the net), so I will proceed to review the whole album.

20:12 is opened by Glimpses from a Lifetime , a track that I already reviewed when Jan sent me the first CD, and about which I won't talk again except to repeat how impressed I was with the new complex and elaborate sound that the band had created, keeping that 70's atmosphere we all love, but adding a new modern edge.

The vocals performed by Ragnar Klevman and the peculiar style of Sara Bergqvist are delightful, while the combination of the talents of multi-instrumentalist Gert Magnusson and pianist Jan Warmqvist provide us of all the Prog we can ask for. But that's not all, the addition of William Bellbrandt in the guitar provides that heavy distorted touch reminiscent of guys like Mick Box from Uriah Heep, creating a wonderful nostalgic feeling on all of us who search for this kind of music since childhood, a sound that usually we can only find buying albums released 3 or 4 decades ago.

But if the opener took me by surprise, Demolition Suite blew all the preconceptions I had about the band. From the first second of the track it was obvious they are imprinting a new energy, a heavy sound plethoric of Mellotron choirs, but also full of changes that take us from Prog Metal to soft passages where the voice of Sara Bergqvist sounds sweetest than ever.

If we add the flutes (in the style of Ian Anderson) and the brilliant drumming, it's obvious we are before a band that didn't felt comfortable recreating past glories, this guys are going for the big prize, sounding even better than in the 70's.

The third track Suite Avis Fenics take us to a new place, now they go with a softer sound that almost breaks the heart, the good thing is that in this case soft is not a synonymous of simplicity, they really give all they have to create an oneiric mysterious atmosphere that falls over the listener as thick mist. But around the eight minute there's a dramatic change to a semi Baroque tune that goes in crescendo and leads us to a breathtaking finale plethoric of organ and Mellotron.

The album ends with an untitled short vocal song, some sort of a joke but very pleasant to listen. When I ratedGlimpses from a Lifetime ,gave four stars because it was only a song that didn't allowed me to notice a real evolution in the band, but the 20:12 Full Trilogy is another thing, Here we notice the respect for the icons of Symphonic Prog but also the versatility of a band trying to recover the sound they had three decades ago and going even further, with a new sound that combines the 7'0's and the second decade of the 21st Century, so I will go with 5 solid stars.

A must have for fanatics of classic Symphonic.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 5/5 | 2014-7-24

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