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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 Crying - After Crying Show - 2003

“None of the modern
machines, none of the modern
paraphenalia… have any
power except over the people
who choose to use them.”
[Technology]

“The modern world is
a crowd of very rapid
racing cars all brought
to a standstill and stuck
in a block of traffic.”
[Liberty]

We had to wait six long years for this: The new After Crying studio album! But in those six years the band released a compilation with some unpublished material and re-arrangements ( “Almost pure instrumental” – 1998 ), an incredible live double album ( “Struggle for life” – 2000 ) which became my personal album of that year and a very interesting live album with one of the first performances with a real orchestra ( “Bootleg symphony” – 2001 ). For me it is unbelievable that so few people know the works of this band. In one of my reviews I called them the most underrated band in the world. In my opinion After Crying is one of the best bands on this planet with incredible musical craftsmanship and a never-ending urge to be innovative. “After Crying Show” is their seventh studio album.

Musicians:
Bátky ‘BZ’ Zoltán – lead and background vocal, tunes; Egervári Gábor – words, narration, ideas; Görgényi Tamás – conception, dramaturgy, words, tunes and rhythms, programming; Lengyel Zoltán – grand piano, keyboard, synthesizer, ideas; Madai Zsolt – drums and percussion, rhythms and ideas; Pejtsik Péter – compositions, arrangements, orchestrations, cello, bass, background vocal, programming; Torma Ferenc – guitars, ideas, programming, editing, recording; Winkler Balázs – compositions, arrangements, orchestrations, trumpet, grand piano, synthesizer, programming.

Guests:
Andrejszki Judit – lead (1, 4) and background vocal (1, 4); Katona Zsófia – lead (10) and background vocal (1, 10); Légrádi Gábor – narration (6, 7, 10, 11); Trumpet: Préda László, Borsódy László; Trombone: Makovecz Pál, Nagy Viktor Dániel, Réthi Zsombor; Horn: Endrõdy Sándor, Czentnár Dezsõ, Soós Péter, Pernecky Balázs; Saxophone: Kollmann Gábor.

With the new studio album “After Crying Show” you get 72 minutes of innovative worldmusic. The first track is called “NWC” (4:30) which stands for “New World Coming”. New world is also a reference to “From the new world” the ninth symphony of composer Antonín Dvorák. The combination of themes in this track is remarkable. Some arranged bars of this beautiful symphony are combined with African drums and a little rap! “Invisible legion” (9:37) is an instrumental track with beautiful melodies in the opening and closing sections. After Crying’s music sounds like music from an orchestra. An Arthur Brown text is quoted in this song: “There’s only one way out. Go bathe yourself in fire!”. The tension of the music is building up to a climax where you can hear trumpet, trombone and horns like with a real orchestra. The closing section of this piece is breathtaking. A very sad melody is played on the cello. I love this instrument in After Crying’s music. But After Crying wouldn’t be After Crying if the next track “Face to face (The legion)” (2:34) would be bright and up-tempo with again a horn section. After this short intermezzo follows “Welcome on board” (3:51). The subtitle is “Business ain’t economy”, the beautiful voice of Andrejszki Judit is singing the lyrics about flying. In the delicate “Paradise lost” (2:54) the cello of Pejtsik Péter is giving us some more themes from Dvorák’s “The new world” symphony. The next long track is called “Remote control” (9:04) and it is divided in the following three parts: “Invision”, “News” and “Media overdose”. And in “Invision” a “Commercial break – Dopy daze” is included. The lyrics and the text of the narration are great and funny. But if you think serious about this also a little bit sad: “Experts say that, by now, millions of people around the world have lapsed into a coma as a result of Media Overdose, and since that they have been going around in that unconscious state”. The music is also great, the bands sounds modern and fresh. After Crying seems to have the potential to melt their own “old” music which always had those classical influences with influences with the music of the modern time we live in right now. But still it sounds like that typical and unique After Crying style. “Technopolis” (7:54) starts with “Setup” which includes the so familiar texts “You are not allowed to stop the installation process”. They even imitate the “Windows Tune” and the restarting of the (computer) system. When this happens they come up with some brilliant themes. This track includes fantastic grand piano playing by Lengyel Zoltán and the band swings. After this “killer” track a short but beautiful theme is played on piano accompanied by synthesizer ( “Globevillage at night” (1:30) ). This is an ode to composer Béla Bartók. Next is the funny “Bone squad” (2:58) “VIP’s should be gone”. Well, you have to hear this. The humor of the band works great on this album. Sometimes people find After Crying’s music so serious. But this “After Crying Show” shows the opposite. This album could be digestible for a big audience. The very melodic synth solo in “Wanna be a member?” (4:27) is combined with a swinging band and some rap vocals. But don’t be shocked, it is very minimal. After all this great music it is now time for my favorite track, the amazing “Secret service” (15:24). This suite which consists out of four parts starts with a beautiful vocal melody and a sexy trumpet (in the same vain as the trumpet of Chris Botti). This long track includes several “Déjà vu” parts. First we hear a very modern arrangement of some themes from Maurice Ravel’s “Bolero” ( do I hear a drumcomputer?! ) and later on a theme from King Crimson’s “Easy money”. The orchestrations and arrangements on this album are fabulous. The melody with the trumpet before the King Crimson part is for me the highlight of the album. I heard it seven times today and I can’t get enough of it. A breathtaking and very moving moment on this album. The contrast with the next song “Farewell” (2:50) is very high. If they release it on a single they can perform in some TV shows and Disco’s! Introduce the young kids to After Crying or is this part of the humor which is brighten up this album. The last composition “Life must go on” (4:33) is played with an amazing speed and accuracy. A happy tune to close this amazing album.

Well, I don’t have to tell you anymore that I just love this album. One of the best albums that I have reviewed this year. The best thing about this album is that it is completely different from what we had expected from After Crying. And at the same time it is still the one and only After Crying. The musicians who are part of this family are all very talented and have high musical skills. Okay, I will say it once more:

“In my opinion After Crying is one of the best bands on this planet with incredible musical craftsmanship and a never-ending urge to be innovative.”

I believe that this modern After Crying will gather some new fans. I hope we will have not to wait for another six years before the next studio album will be released. But if we have to, and the band will come up again with an album of such high quality, the fans has nothing to complain! I have only one thing to wish for … I would like to see this band on stage to perform this material.

Douwe Fledderus - September 2003.
rating - Periferic Records

 

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