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progVisions

progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

album reviews

album review

After @ All - ACID - 2001

"We don't like our music being labelled, therefore we use a new category we created:
f u t u r o c k
to describe our unique, futuristic, progressive (really pointing forward) modern-rock music"

After @ All is a Hungarian band founded in 1996. "After To many, peace is…" (1997), "acolorindark" CD-single (1998), "Power Hung(a)ry" (1999), "ACID" LP (2000) and the "Chameleon" CD-single (2000) they released the "ACID" album on CD.

The band:
Oláh Szabolcs - vocal, percussion, programming Csontos Krisztián - guitars, vocal, programming Czapár János - keyboard, sampling Raffay Zsolt - bass Nagy Viktor - drums.

October last year (2001) I wrote the following conclusion about the "Chameleon" single:

"The boys can play their instruments. It is all very up tempo, complicated and neurotic. But two songs is not a good basis to give a good impression and write a review. Instead of 10 pages biography and two songs, next time send me 2 pages and 10 songs!"

As a reaction their label send me this "ACID" CD twice without any information! And I will give the band of course a second chance. And I must admit that hearing the single integrated in the complete concept of "ACID" gives me a complete other and more positive picture.

After a small "science fiction" opening "_Connecting" the first two tracks are called "_net.com_upload" and "_net.com_system_shutdown". After reading the lyrics of "_net.com" the theme of the album reminds me of the fantastic movie The Matrix. I don't know if it is intended in this way, but it creates that atmosphere for me. The music is heavy, complex and dynamic. After @ all creates music with an industrial touch. "_Chameleon" I already described in my single review. A King Crimson opening and further on Labrie like Dream Theater vocals. Next is "_freakazoid_message_to_v.g." which is almost impossible to describe. The music is a strange mix of King Crimson, Dream Theater, Grunt like vocals, industrial and swinging parts with "normal" vocals. What can I say … it is highly original. "_AllCanInheritDifferences" is maybe the central title track of this album but the only way to describe it is "something is fucking up someone's brain". Even the lyrics are printed on purpose in mirror! "_dust in…" and "…_hoffman" are in fact one piece and are linked to each other. Up-tempo, swinging with a nice fat bass and with "normal" and "shouting" vocals and even a guitar solo in the end. Interesting track. "_l'image d'une étoile" is a ballad with Fripp guitar bits and sax. I needed that break; it releases the pressure of the previous neurotic tracks. "_reconnecting_" opens with King Crimson guitars combined with programmed industrial keyboard samples. It is a bridge to the next piece (we already knew from the single) "_synthetic". I like it more because it has now it's right place on the album. On the single it was too isolated and therefore misunderstood by me. But I still don't like the shouting/grunt like vocals. But I must admit that it gives a high contrast with the melodic and "normal" sung vocals. It sounds indeed "_synthetic" and always the guitar gives a kind of King Crimson flavour to the music. "_bloom" is again a slower piece with again some KC guitar influences. For me it is one of the better songs because it is not so industrial and synthetic. But that is just a personal taste. "_ain't" is a surprise for me, a beautiful love song. "_disconnecting" ends this concept album with electronic sounds, guitar and some slow vocals. The bonus track on this album is called "_kedves". It is in fact the Hungarian version of "_ain't", the love song.

This is not an album for the standard prog lover. You must have an open mind to experimental, industrial and real progressive music. If you like King Crimson influenced bands you could give it a try. But it is not King Crimson music; there is just some KC flavour in the guitar bits. The music has a lot of influences but the mix they make of it is highly original. And it is never boring. It is not my favourite type of music but I must admit that I have listened to the album a lot of times and always have played the whole album because it is intriguing and original. And that is just what progressive music is about.

Douwe Fledderus - March 2002
rating - Periferic Records

 

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