Mostly Autumn - The last bright light - 2001


Why didn't I discover this band before?. Why did I take so long to realize how good this band is?. This time my senses haven't betrayed me and here I am with the third record of Mostly Autumn bursting in my ears and delighting all my senses. A perfect music for this gray day trying to give it some texture and sweetening an evening that suddenly becomes interesting. The last bright light was released last year and it was ignored by me then, even knowing its existence and falling in love with its wonderful cover when a saw it for the first time (I normally don't purchase a CD according to its artwork, although I know people that does….very risky) Well, the important thing is to get it now and not to wait until the record is out of print.


The music of Mostly Autumn is a fantastic mixture of styles. The group creates a progressive music focused on the songs and adding to them some elements than makes their work very rich musically. Their music is leaded mostly by the guitars, all kinds of guitars than become the most beautiful melodies sang by the two leaders of the band Bryan Josh and Heather Findlay. This mixture we can say that is composed by the Pink Floyd, Camel, Genesis, Curved Air, Jethro Tull, adding to all this, soft wind and cord sections that reminds Iona a lot.

The musicians that take part of this record apart from its leaders Bryan Josh and Heather Findlay that takes over all kinds of guitars and voices, are Iain Jennings (keyboards), Liam Davison (electric guitar), Angela Goldthorpe (flute), Andy Smith (bass), Jonathan Blackmore (percussion) and we also find some guest people that plays the cello, low whistles, gaita, krumhorn, etc…

It's a record full of delicate and great sweetness shown right from the beginning, with a lot of Victorian flavor. There are 13 songs that go from the 5 minutes to 12 minutes. "...Just moving on" is a little gaita-guitar introduction that leads to "We come and we go", a piece of simple melody and rhythm adorned with a perfect bed of keyboards and flute, all done with a great taste. "Half of the mountain", is sang by Heather Findlay, and it's another wonder closed to the previous one. A medium-tempo song with an elegant melody, perfect chorus and a great and emotive conclusion by the guitar. "The eyes of the forest" reminds a lot the Steve Hackett's chords from the "Wind and Wuthering" time, delicate and plenty of that unmistakable Victorian romanticism."The dark before the dawn" gives to the album some more speed with a fast chorus and rhythm, more rocky sound accompanied by a nice flute. The voice of Heather gives form to "Hollow", a ballad that surprises by its simplicity and the good work of guitar and keys. "Prints in the stone" is another simple folky composition. Now that the record is coming to an end it increases its power in songs like "The last bright light" and "Never the rainbow" both in different ways are added the participation of great Gregorian choruses and some hard edged guitars. "Shrinking Violet" takes the record to its highest level; what a voice!!!; what a guitar!!!; what a marvelous chorus!!!; it's like enjoying the best Camel, Genesis... the most melodic Pink Floyd. "Helms Deep" is a good sample of all the musicians playing at their best; flutes, bagpipes, voices of men fighting, sword metal and horses. An epic piece, of medieval sound played with great talent. "Which wood?" is almost the final with a song very close to the Jethro Tull's "Songs from the wood" period, some good folk guitars and flute. The CD concludes with "Mother Nature" which is an emotional and very powerful piece where the band shows again all its greatness.


I don't think I'm saying something exaggerated, but I think this is the best British progressive band nowadays. It's quite a long time since a enjoyed a record as I've enjoyed this "The last bright light". Don't miss it!

author - date - rating - label

Jordi Costa - May 2002 -   - Cyclops