Mostly Autumn is a band I’ve heard and read about many times, mostly in conjunction with Heather Finlay and her contributions to the famous Ayreon project by Arjen Lucassen. For some reason I never bothered to check them out. Further research indicates that Finlay left the band back in 2010 with one Olivia Sparnenn replacing here. To cut a long story short, Mostly Autumn is back with a new album, entitled “The Ghost Moon Orchestra”. Let’s see what is has to offer.
“Ghost Moon Orchestra” has quite a diverse and varied body of songs to offer. They range from more uptempo progressive rock songs with a nod and a wink to Pink Floyd and other seventies prog heroes (“Unquiet Tears”, “Wild Eyed Skies”), more folk influenced tracks (“This Ragged Heart”, “King Of The Valley”), fragile compositions reminiscent of Anathema (“Tennyson Valley”, “Things That We Notice”) and even a foray into good ol’ delta blues (“The Devil And The Orchestra”). It’s a very nice and engaging collection of songs neatly tied together by Olivia Sparnenn’s angelic vocals and Bryan Josh’s more ragged style of singing. This beauty and the beast approach works very well for Mostly Autumn.
Apparently, “The Ghost Moon Orchestra” is a concept album of sorts, but it doesn’t come across in the music. All the songs have their own separate identities, but they feel like a loose collection of songs put together on a single disc, than as a coherent single unit. Mostly Autumn certainly knows how to write a decent song or two, but the lack of cohesion diminishes the overall listening experience. This prevents “The Ghost Moon Orchestra” from becoming an outstanding album. This is a crying shame, because the band clearly has the chops to truly deliver the goods.
“The Ghost Moon Orchestra” by Mostly Autumn can best be approached as a compilation album that covers certain eras of the band’s long history, than as a single body of newly recorded songs. It’s a very enjoyable release, but the lack of overall cohesion prevents it from becoming a true prog/folk rock gem. A missed chance, really.