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After Crying - Megalázottak És Megszomorítottak CD (album) cover

MEGALÁZOTTAK ÉS MEGSZOMORÍTOTTAK

After Crying

 

Symphonic Prog

4.01 | 156 ratings

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ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk Researcher
4 stars My one complaint about After Crying is that their albums tend toward the more expensive side, at least here in the United States. This isn’t the kind of band whose albums you’ll find in a ‘normal’ record store either, so mail-order is about the only option if you live well inland from either coast and away from any large metropolitan areas like I do.

But that’s about it – everything else about this band is simply superb. Their second album ‘Megalázottak és Megszomorítottak’ takes a step forward from ‘Overground Music’, which for me was a great find. The band’s mildly post-rock-meets-classical style blends the best of the intensely reflective sounds of bands like Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Sigur Rós with the somber qualities of groups like the 3rd & the Mortal, but in the case of the latter seem to avoid the wrist-slashing depressive moods that band seems to heavily favor.

This is not simple music by any means, and I suppose hard-core musicians will find much to critique and admire in the arrangements. I’m just a simple music fan, so for me it’s all about the moods that the band evokes. And each track here sets a strong atmosphere indeed, beginning with the ambitious “A Gadarai Megszállott” and following through with admirable continuity to the closing “Végül”. As with ‘Overground Music’ there are no guitars here, and again as with that album I don’t miss them at all. I love the classical strings, and of those the ones that have the most emotive sounds are viola and cello. Both are featured very prominently in all of After Crying’s music, so this stuff is a no- brainer for me. And while I love saxophone in pop and jazz music, the oboe, bassoon, and trombone are a bit more exotic and fit these compositions much better. The trumpet can be an overpowering instrument, but especially on the opening track it is used sparingly and too great effect, especially at the end of “A Gadarai Megszállott” with the trombone (and I believe bassoon again) with a little repetitive staccato piece that is warm and pleasant to sit back and enjoy.

“A Kis Hos” is a lush string interlude with chamber-like vocals that are much improved from ‘Overground Music’, whose vocals I believe I once referred to as “Kermit-like”. Not so here – these are strong, classical, and very much complement the strings. “Noktürn” on the other hand sounds a bit like a child’s ballad, which it may in fact be, but is also the weakest and shortest track here. No matter, it makes for a nice bridge to the title track’s more ambitious arrangement. This is more animated than the first three tracks, and reminds me a bit more of ‘Overground Music’, except that this is where the piano finally makes a strong appearance and reminds me that the piano is much less prominent than on the band’s previous album. While I loved Csaba Vedres’ piano work on that album, it is not much missed here with the heavier use of the strings and brass, but especially the strings. The tempo shifts on the title track are amazingly fluid, and while I’ve no idea what the point of this song is, it is definitely a delight to the ears on a quiet evening at home.

“Végül” again features cello and viola heavily, although for some reason the band felt the need for quite a bit of drum soling throughout this short work, which is well-done but doesn’t add any meaning in particular for me.

This is a CD that I keep in my car and have been playing a fair amount lately while driving to and from work. Especially on the trips home it helps to calm me down after a stressful day, and as a result leaves me in a better mood when I open the door at home and face my family. So for that at least I thank the band, and recommend this highly to just about any progressive or classical music fan. Four stars.

peace

ClemofNazareth | 4/5 |

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