Autumn Whispers: Cry of Dereliction Volume II
Autumn Whispers returned in 2013, with their follow-up album, Cry of Dereliction Volume II, to their first volume which was released in 2012. The album features soft, warm music set in the style I remember from autumns in the 1970s.
The band is made up of: Dino Steffens, on acoustic guitar and vocals; Tirill Mohn, on violin, vocals, and glockenspiel; Liew Ceng Teng, on keyboards; Theodoros Kouelis, on bass guitar; Nils Einar Vinjor, on guitar, and Vangelis Kalamaras, on drums. Additional musicians who performed on the album include: Geir Jahren, on vocals; Kim Mohn, on guitar; and Klearchos Korkovelos, on cimbalom.
"Fire and Ice" opens with a broad stroke of deep electric guitar and sounds of a fire burning, before soft strings, keys, drums, cimbalom and acoustic guitars take over. The words are from the poet Robert Frost and match with the music perfectly, "Some say the world will end in fire. Some say in ice. From what I've tasted of desire. I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice. I think I know enough of hate. To say that for destruction ice is also great. And would suffice". Powerful words set to soft mournful music.
"Nostalgia" is another wonderful song perfect for dreaming of the past. Dino Steffens sings, "Anamnes is dressed in love and nostalgia. Blooming years are sleeping safely deep in my heart. Yesterday, deep in time. Pictures seen when I close my eyes. Sounds of schoolyard stuff remain". Imagine this poetry filled with background sounds of schoolyards, flute like keys and warm strings. Yes, it is a wonderful song to sit under a tree and dream about the highlights of your past. The band fills the air with perfect King Crimson-like music set to appreciate every note and word.
"Auguries of Innocence" conjures the spirit of the haunting melody that is Julian Lennon's famous song, "Valotte". It is a great Beatles/Lennon mix of sound that may be the album's best track set to the poetry of William Blake. A deep lyrical poem of warning about how we as humans are treating the world.
"A Bird Can't Fly" is set to warm glockenspiel and soft acoustic guitar as Dino Steffens and Tirill Mohn sing as a duo. This song almost has a Simon and Garfunkel feel to it. Weeping strings and flute like sounds fill the air as the duo sing, "The seasons change in the shadow of love. As the mind lingers in childhood scars. A naked cry. A bird can't fly. A break in the sky. A tear falls from high". Deep melancholy music and words crying out to be heard.
"Walls" is the heaviest track on the album. Powerful drums, heavier lead electric and vocals that seem out of place with the other music on the album. An almost homage to Pink Floyd's "The Wall" without the familiar melodies or sounds.
"The Puppet's Monologue" opens with a child's music box playing "Dixieland", before all manner of circus big top sounds fill the air. Then Steffens and Mohn return with vocals bringing forth the lyrics a puppet might say regarding being controlled by others.
The title track for this album, "Cry of Dereliction Pt.2" opens like a King Crimson song full of fiery guitar, keys, and a deep moody presence. Steffens and Mohn sing, "If only you could turn back time to feel the years spin backwards. To when my life had less purpose. Less worries and heavenly daze. If only you could turn the mocking tongues into soothing words". Yes, a nice dream indeed…set to soft music from guitar, keys and soft drums. Yes, this music is great to hear now, but you feel their need to go back in time. Few musicians are making this type of music any more. This is one of two tracks that extend beyond 10 minutes. This epic is full of the sounds of lightning and deep bass, electric and acoustic guitars, piano and soft drums. The feeling of being surrounded by nature and all its elements is a constant comfort.
"I Measure Every Grief I Meet" marries the words of Emily Dickinson's poem of the same name with wonderful swooping keys, soft acoustic guitar, bass and soft drums perfectly. Steffens and Mohn do a great job of conveying the emotions and feelings Dickinson must have been feeling when she was writing this deep and thoughtful poem.
Sounds of the ocean's waves and gulls open "To a Child Dancing in the Wind", along with slow plucked electric guitar and cinematic keys. This William B. Yeats poem is well decorated with Autumn Whispers' usual care and feeling. The guitar work is the best of the album. Steffens' vocals carry the story of the poem well.
"The Jasmin" opens with deep keys and solemn sounds. Beautiful acoustic guitar and deep bass soon join in to open the soundscape before Steffens begins singing, "Whether it's dusk or dawn's first light. The jasmine stays always white". A short but brilliant track.
"Autumn" captures much of the emotion and feelings of my favorite time of year. The music is soft and restful as Steffens and Mohn sing, "In the yards of autumn... fallen leaves, bare trees. In the yard of autumn our tryst".
This album is a wonderful look at my favorite time of year with the use of great poetry and deep emotional music influenced by the moods and sounds of the early 1970s. Autumn Whispers' ability to choose excellent poetry and set it to soft elegant music for any time of year is a gift and worth the price of admission alone. Get this for your collection and enjoy it any season.
01. Fire and Ice (Music: Dino Steffens/Words: Robert Frost)
02. Nostalgia (Music/Words: Dino Steffens)
03. Auguries of Innocence (Music:Dino Steffens/Words:William Blake)
04. A Bird Can't Fly (Music/Words:Dino Steffens)
05. Walls (Music:Dino Steffens/Words:Konstantinos Kavafis/Dino Steffens)
06. The Puppet's Monologue (Music/Words:Dino Steffens)
07. Cry of Dereliction Pt.2 (Music/Words:Dino Steffens)
08. I Measure Every Grief I Meet (Music:Dino Steffens/Words:Emily Dickinson)
09.To a Child Dancing in the Wind (Music:Dino Steffens/Words:William B. Yeats)
10. The Jasmin (Music:Dino Steffens/Words:Giorgos Seferis)
11. Autumn (Music/Words:Dino Steffens)
Added: May 5th 2014
Reviewer: Mark Johnson
Related Link: http://www.autumnwhispers.com/
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