When the album Passengers of Autumn Moonlight was handed to me for review, there was a little spark that indicated, I am familiar with the band's music. And indeed both of their previous releases; The Sky Over Your Shoulders (2010, see review) and Alter Reality (2012, see review) have been reviewed by yours truly. A bit of a shame I did not immediately recognize the band, for both of those releases are definitely worthwhile listening to. So let's find out if Passengers brought any changes or did they stick to their defined sound of six years ago.
Autumn Moonlight still remains a duo, consisting of the Argentinian musicians Tomás Barrionuevo, who plays guitar and keyboards and Mariano Spadafora, who plays bass and keyboards. Additionally, both of them use Virtual Studio Technology Instruments to create their music.
Musically Autumn Moonlight's music remains a smooth combination of soft post rock; influences of Long Distance Calling can definitely be heard, but also the creative element of North Atlantic Oscillation has found its way into Autumn Moonlight's music. What definitely defines the music are the very fine guitars of Tomás Barrionuevo. His melodies are painting the pictures that become the individual compositions, with a certain comfortable groove. A groove that takes you on the journey through the minds of the Argentinians. A song like the title track; Passengers perhaps represents the heaviest side of AM. Solid riffs and atmospheric parts are joined together by a wonderful guitar and subtle piano parts, making this track one of the most impressive ones on the album. But let's not forget the ten and a half minute lasting Way Out Of Here, where a progressive rock element is combined with a grooving post rock part. Kudo's by the way for the way the drums are programmed, very well done and absolutely not clinical and cold, like some other bands use to program their drums. Or the fine guitar parts on Last Stand, which is definitely an instrumental progressive rock song.
Passengers continues where the previous albums left us, only the progressive rock element has increased, making their delicate post rock style very accessible to the more “common” progressive rock aficionado.
After listening to Passengers I started to re-listen to the previous ones and I have to say I don't get it why this duo isn't as popular as they should be, just for the music which is special and amazing!
****+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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