Music Inspired By The Lord Of The Rings (2002)
Here is another Mostly Autumn release. Very similar to previous albums, but covering a familiar subject.
Reviewed by: John “Bo Bo” Bollenberg, June 2002
Never has the time been more appropriate to release an album like the latest output by British folk-proggers Mostly Autumn. Right in the footsteps of the blockbuster movie Lord Of The Rings, this album should appeal to everyone who is into the realm of Tolkien and has queued up to see the film more than once. Although the band doesn’t see the album as being a full blown follow up to their The Last Bright Light album, Music Inspired By The Lord Of The Rings holds all of the vintage Mostly Autumn trademarks to turn this into yet another interesting and entertaining musical extravaganza.
Being a band that has always introduced its fair share of acoustic instruments and folky sidesteps what better subject to chose than that of Tolkien? “Greenwood The Great” starts ever so fragile, reminding me a little of Rainbow’s “Sixteenth Century Greensleeves” before evolving into a true rock idiom, highlighting Bryan’s Gilmour-like guitar solo. Heather’s angelic vocals are ideal for this kind of fairy-tale stories whether it’s solo or as a duet with Bryan.
Another bonus seems to be the very appropriate use of additional acoustic instruments like the violin in “Goodbye Alone” which soon has to make way for yet another Floyd-like guitar. The nice thing about Mostly Autumn is that they also include a fair share of original “jigs” enabling the listener to also dance along as is the case with “Out Of The Inn” which has already become a firm stage favorite. Acoustic guitar blends ever so well with the splendid classical strings in “Journey’s Thought” which holds the same atmosphere as if you were to mix Camel’s The Snow Goose with Wish You Were Here-era Pink Floyd.
Whilst Heather has been called the new Sandy Denny or the new Stevie Nicks, it is clear that she is getting better and better all of the time, her voice settling in nicely within the arrangements, as another live favourite illustrates by means of “The Riders Of Rohan.” However, for me, the band is at its absolute best in the quiet songs such as “Lothlorien” where all our attention goes towards the fragile vocals that are sparsely accompanied by guitar and tin whistle, the kind of song one would die for! The song is followed by a complete contrast in the form of “To The Grey Havens” which gets very close to vintage Hawkwind at times. Written, rehearsed, recorded, mixed and mastered in just fourteen days, this means the talented bunch of Mostly Autumn could produce no fewer than 26 of these albums a year. Now that’s what I call magic, and magic you get throughout this album, the unexpected album!
More about Music Inspired By The Lord Of The Rings:
Track Listing: Overture / Forge Of Sauron / Greenwod The Great / Goodbye Alone / Out Of The Inn / On The Wings Of Gwaihir / At Last To Rivendell / Journey’s Thought / Caradhras The Cruel / The Riders Of Rohan / Lothlorien / The Return Of The King / To The Grey Havens / Bonustrack : Helm’s Deep (Video Track)
Heather Findlay – vocals, guitar, bodhran, tambourine, recorder
Bryan Josh – lead guitar, vocals
Iain Jennings – keyboards
Liam Davison – guitar
Angela Goldthorpe – flute, recorders, vocals
Andy Smith – bass
Jonathan Blackmore – drums
Marcus Bousefield – violin
Marissa Claughlan – cello
Ché – djembe
Duncan Rayson – additional keyboards