ScapeLand Wish - The Ghost Of Autumn

Year of Release: 2003
Label: self released
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 73:07:00

This review is excerpted from Clayton's June 24, 2003 The Prog Life column found here -ed.

A while ago, Scapeland Wish's first album, Reason, made my "best of" list for the year. I even managed to place an article on the group in an issue of Progression magazine, whose reviewers gave the album an enthusiastic review, as well. On The Ghost Of Autumn, this Connecticut group continues to turn out intensely melodic, Ambrosia-like soft prog that's as expertly produced as it is deep. That is, The Ghost Of Autumn reveals something new with each listen.

As always, guitarist Kevin Forsberg provides layer on layer of guitar, taking the music everywhere from acoustic rock to Hendrix-like solos and harmony guitar lines. In a couple of places, he even brings to mind Bill Nelson from Be Bop Deluxe, especially when he slaps on the flanger. Forsberg's solos are always interesting, taking notes beyond plain-vanilla scale workouts. Moreover, he's equally adept at solid melodies as he is at rapid-fire improvisation.

Singer Josh Ramirez turns in smooth, professional vocals that conjure up a hybrid of Ambrosia's Joe Puerte and David Pack, all while providing the drum tracks, too. Although Ramirez shows off no virtuoso chops ala James LaBrie or Steve Walsh, he possesses a voice that many people -- myself included -- would kill for. I could listen to him sing all day. Guest musician Sean Grant, sounding a lot like Saga's Michael Sadler, supplies lead vocals on one track.

Finally, Mike Stiskal, the studio wizard behind the recordings, supplies the bass, keyboards, and background vocals. Although Stiskal's playing tends to stay in the background, he provides solid support for the guitars and vocals, which are the focus of most tracks. In any case, Stiskal's instrument is as much the studio as it is the bass guitar, as he turns in expertly woven sonic tapestries that could have been produced in any pro studio by a name-brand producer. In short, an album for all lovers of melodic prog.

[In March 2005 the band shortened it's name to Scapeland -ed.]

Misty's Cage (9:15) / The Highway (5:40) / Reflection (5:52) / Fever Dream (7:01) / Ostrich Alternative (5:04) / The Ghost Of Autumn (7:40) / Inner Space (7:24) / Nemo (4:49) / The Willow Song (7:57) / Fading Light (9:30) / Autumn (2:51)

Mike Stiskal - bass, keyboards, acoustic guitar, percussion, background vocals
Joshua Ramirez - lead vocals, drums, percussion
Kevin Forsberg - lead, rhythm and classical guitars


Sean Grant - lead vocals (7) and additional backing vocals
Heather Hightower - as 'The Ghost'

Reason (2000)
The Ghosts Of Autumn (2003)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: June 24th 2003
Reviewer: Clayton Walnum

Artist website:
Hits: 933
Language: english


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