Mostly Autumn: The Ghost Moon Orchestra

Flipping to the heavy side.

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It’d be going too far to suggest that Mostly Autumn have suddenly become a prog metal band, but this is the heaviest album they’ve ever done.

Everything here sounds more confident and flamboyant than on previous albums, and there are comparisons to be made with Nightwish and Within Temptation in the way they balance some striding guitar work from Bryan Josh with more temperate, folk moments.

But this isn’t about merely emulating such European bands. This is Mostly Autumn opening up their horizons and becoming more rounded and extrovert.

Vocalist Olivia Sparnenn is a revelation, combining unwitting sensuality with knowing innocence, and the band’s vibe has certainly altered for the better. This album is their game changer.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009.