My Records 2013
The final chapter of Swedish veterans’ trilogy that gives their comeback a proper outline.
Sometimes you fail to see an entire edifice when building blocks are pieces of art themselves, and that’s how it is with AUTUMN BREEZE’s “20:12”, the band’s three principal writers’ quest to compose a mini-album each with a titular running time. Spanning 2011-2013 and centered on 2012, the project started with flautist’s Gert Magnusson’s "Glimpses From A Lifetime", continued with bassist Kenneth Halvarsson’s "Demolition Suite" and is rounded off with keyboard player Jan Warnkvist’s “Suite Avis Fenics” to make the most natural cycle which reflects the ensemble’s own creative resurrection after three decades in limbo.
In such circumstances, some excess would be understandable, but the closing installment shapes it simple, the tentative organ bombast restrained with acoustic strum in “Aragon” before William Belbrandt’s electric riffs pitch a vibrant flight in the heart of it all. What keeps it down is drums – recorded too frontal to complement the soaring rather than anchor it in “Gravitas” – while the new age passages of “Romance” and “Solitude” come arrestingly cinematic. More so, Ragnar Klevman’s angelic voice rolling over church organ adds a celestial dimension to “Hymn” to link the present to the band’s glorious past. Now play the “20:12” trilogy back-to-back to see the full scope of this masterpiece: it was worth waiting for for so long.