Autograf 1 / Автограф 1980-82

I've got this album during my one day trip to Tallinn, Estonia last year. It's safe to say that we sure love our cruises here in Sweden.

At the time I knew nothing about Autograph or their sound but looking at the band picture on the album cover it just had prog written all over it! Thanks to my iPhone's web capabilities I was easily able to locate the band on Prog Archives and after reading Prog-jester's passionate review I was able to make my decision right on the spot.

The album starts off with a very proggy instrumental titled Fasten Your Seat Belts which, in retrospect, might not have been all that representative of the rest of material but it did put my doubts to rest about the band's prog tendencies. The music here seems to be highly inspired by the '70s music scene but with slight touches of '80s synthesizer sounds here and there. The instruments and especially the drums remain unaffected by the excessive studio production, which probably had more to do with the lack of proper studio equipment than any personal preference on the band's part. The sound is non-the-less excellent and it made me wish that more of the progressive rock giants would have backed off the gated drum and most of the other nice little new features that were made available in the beginning of that prog-forsaken decade.

Many of the compositions here are ballads where some remind me of Genesis but with a vocalist singing in Russian. Overall I did enjoy the vocals because some of the arrangements sounded pretty new and original to my ears but it might just be that I know very little of the Russian music scene of that time.

Let me sum up by saying that this album is an excellent introduction to Autograph and should definitely be considered a true relic of the Soviet progressive rock scene!

***** star songs: Fasten Seat Belts (3:18) The Rainstorm (6:32) Ireland, Ulster (4:05) An Old Ballad (6:46)

**** star songs: 2000 Years (6:54) A Trail Of Days (4:29) Yesterday

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

Saturday, February 20, 2010