Published on March 22nd, 2017 | by Justin G.
Autumn Silence: Echoes in the Garden (Divebomb)
The latest release in the Divebomb label’s Bootcamp imprint takes us to a forgotten corner of the early ’90s U.S. progressive metal scene. New Jersey-based Autumn Silence had been active as Midnight Divine and then Prophecy in the 1980s, but as the decade closed they rebranded themselves as Autumn Silence, adding vocalist Mike Gorham (now with Heir Apparent) and going in a more progressive direction.
Autumn Silence released a 3-song demo titled Winter’s Calling in 1989 that was equal parts power and progressive metal, sounding a lot like early Fates Warning and Crimson Glory thanks in large part to Gorham’s high-pitched vocals. They followed it up with the Echoes in the Garden EP in 1994, which marked a sharp turn in their sound. It was still very much progressive metal, but with a definite old school prog rock – think Genesis and Marillion – vibe. It included an impressive 16-minute title track that sounds like Charlie Dominici singing The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.
You’d think with the runaway success Dream Theater enjoyed at the time, some of the enthusiasm for their brand of progressive metal would have extended to Autumn Silence. Instead, they became one of those underrated bands like Mercury Rising and Sage Meridien that didn’t survive the 1990s.
Fortunately, thanks to the Divebomb label fans who missed Autumn Silence the first time (pretty much all of us) can now discover them for ourselves. Divebomb’s 2017 Autumn Silence anthology is called Echoes in the Garden and includes the full 1989 Winter’s Calling demo, the 1992 instrumental recordin “Ludicrous Speed,” the full 1994 Echoes in the Garden EP, the two songs they recorded as Midnight Divine (that have a serious old school Fates Warning meets When Dream and Day Unite vibe), a pair of rehearsal demos from 1991 and an alternate version of “Echoes in the Garden” that’s a mere 7 minutes long.
All of the songs on Echoes in the Garden have been newly remastered by Jamie King and sound fantastic, aside from the live rehearsal demos and the Midnight Divine tracks (which sound pretty good given the source material) and the CD features new cover artwork and a booklet with a band interview, lyrics and vintage photos. You get all of the Autumn Silence material in one great looking, great sounding collection. This is an anthology that any serious fan and collector of late ’80s and early ’90s progressive metal – especially bands like Fates Warning, Crimson Glory, early Dream Theater and Queensryche, Genesis, Marillion, Mercury Rising and Heir Apparent – owe it to themselves to check out.
Summary: Fantastic reissue/anthology from this forgotten prog metal band