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Pythagoras - After The Silence - A Symphonic Poem CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.09 | 24 ratings

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3 stars The one and probably only claim to fame of this album is that it features a very young Arjen Lucassen on guitar, somewhere around the same time he was putting his first licks down on vinyl with Bodine and well before he would hit the big time with his ongoing Ayreon. Otherwise this is largely a instrumental experiment in keyboard and synthesized progressive meandering that is kind of fun to listen to, but not particularly impressive or complex.

Lucassen’s guitar work here would appear to be heavily influenced by David Gilmour, although some of the heavier parts (and there aren’t many) wouldn’t be out of place on a Deep Purple album. There’s also some flute playing and violin, with the most prominent violin track being in the 3rd movement “Endless Hymn”, which I would also rate as the most impressive track. The 5th movement is also heavy on violin, but here the instrument competes with too many keyboards to be as effective as it is on the earlier track.

Other noteworthy instrumental passages include a synthesized choir section on the 4th movement played by Michel van Wassem on something called a Novotron. I’ve no idea what that is, but I assume it has circuit boards of some sort and a keyboard or two. Steve Hackett played one on ‘Spectral Mornings’, which is the only other time I’ve heard this instrument mentioned.

Lucassen makes his presence known on the 2nd movement, and then seems to take a back seat for the most part until the 6th movement, which is where he gets a bit heavier and more along the lines of Ritchie Blackmore with somewhat shorter sustains and more chord progressions than Gilmour was known for. At this point the music seems to take a turn away from space rock and more toward heavy prog, although the dominance of the various keyboards keep it from turning into a full-fledged hard rock album at any point.

The ‘Grand Finale’ 7th movement predictably emphasizes mellotron choir and violin after a brief rhythmic buildup, and a typically bombastic finale that ends abruptly to close the album.

I’m a little surprised this hasn’t been picked up by one of the major progressive reissue labels. The only place I know of to get it is from the Korean mini-LP company Media Arte, who released it earlier this year, most likely only because Lucassen’s name is in the credits.

This is a mildly interesting album if you’re into seventies keyboard-driven spacey prog, or if you want to hear what Lucassen sounded like before he hit the big time. Otherwise you probably won’t be too interested. The music is well done though, even if the production is a bit amateurish, so three stars is not overly generous. And that’s what we’ll go with for now.


ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |


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