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Autumnal Blossom - Spellbound

Autumnal Blossom – CD Review

Autumnal Blossom – Spellbound

CD Info
QuiXote Music
10 Tracks English Lyrics

Autumnal Blossom is the band led by classical flutist Pia Darmstädter; who, after years playing in orchestras, is now working as a freelance musician. Pia’s foundation is rooted in classical music, but she also enjoys the visual music of progressive and art-rock. Darmstädter also sings and plays the flute for German prog-band Poor Genetic Material.

Autumnal Blossom’s debut album, Against the Fear of Death, was an excellent blend of progressive and classical music genres, and it was well received critically, and with the audiences who heard it live or in recorded performances.

Spellbound picks up where Against the Fear of Death, left off. Literally, the first track is the hauntingly beautiful “Because I Could not Stop for Death”. Darmstädter’s flute paints with a wide brush as her vocals softly sing this Emily Dickinson’, classic poem, from 1863. The surrounding soundscape will take you to the edge of the Irish Coasts’ cliffs in fall. You can feel the fog envelope you as she sings.

Throughout the album, Darmstädter’s flute and vocals move the listener through a labyrinth of vision - scapes that deal with topics like love, passion, pain, memory, eternity and the quest of finding oneself.

Autumnal Blossom’s website describes the album in this way, “The album’s lyrics form a fictitious journal of memories that have left their mark on life and come alive again. The listeners may recognize themselves in this journal and can join a journey through the human soul - in spite, (or because?), of a chain of borderline experiences and a number of tragic elements with a decidedly optimistic message”.

Pia Darmstädter is a regular member of the Cantata Orchestra of Heidelberg, the Symphonieorchestra of Heilbronn, Philharmonie Merck, and takes part in other classical concerts in various ensembles. Currently, she is finishing her work on the ambient-album, Dark Sky Reserve, with the band Coarbegh.

Pia Darmstädter’s voice reminds me so much of Grace Slick’s singing on the classical – inspired work of the early Jefferson Airplane. On Spellbound, Pia sings all vocals, plays piano and keyboards, as well as the flute.

Joining her on this album are: Philipp Jaehne, on organ and synthesizers; Jochen Bauer, on guitar; Frank Willi Schmidt, on bass and singing saw; Christoph Czech, on drums and percussion; Maria Karch, on violin; Valeria Lo Giudice, on cello; Mark Beers, on double bass; and Olaf Gramlich, on English horn.

“Beguiling Masks”, is probably one of the most perfect matches of Pia’s vocals to the legend, that is, Grace Slick. I would love to hear Pia take a try at “Eskimo Blue Day” or “Lather”, to see if my hunch is correct.

I’ll skip to the finish. Every track on this album is excellent.

“My Blood” has a 60s, Piccadilly Circus, carefree feel to it that will bring back memories.

The piano work, flute, synthesizers, cello, violin, bass, and drums throughout this album, help paint pictures and support the stories being told with the lyrics, well. Much time was spent perfecting the sound and magic on this album. Every track greets you with images and feelings that bring you closer to the meanings in the lyrics.

This album came as a surprise to me, as an accompanying disc to Poor Genetic Material’s new album, which I will be reviewing for another online zine. It is greatly appreciated and I hope you will give this album a try. It is a wonderful surprise, which I now share with you. You will not be disappointed.

Track listing

I. Transcendence 1. Because I Could not Stop for Death II. Diaries of an Estranged Voyager 1. Memories of a Child 2. Eternally not Yours 3. Beguiling Masks 4. Grey Masses 5. My Blood 6. Ravenous 7. Secrets 8. In These Rooms III. Paradise 1. Paradise