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Syrius - Az ördög álarcosbálja (Devil's Masquerade) CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

4.08 | 42 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 3.5 stars. SYRIUS were a band out of Hungary who formed in 1962 and played Beat music but by 1970 or so they decided to jump on the Prog train drastically changing styles, and this is quite jazzy too. We get two sax players in this 5 piece band along with violin, flute, organ and the usual Rock instruments. They managed to get a recording contract from a label in Australia so they flew down and recorded this beast which was released in 1972. The vocals are in English and I'm not a fan of them but I do like the instrumental work although there are two songs I can hardly tolerate but man the title track and the longest tune that closes the album are both excellent.

"Concerto For A Three Stringed Violin And Five Mugs Of Beer" certainly shows these guys had a sense of humour. It opens with what sounds like acoustic violin and some piano before vocal melodies arrive after a minute followed by dissonant sax with organ and drums to follow. Then some jazzy bass with organ takes over as this plays out, flute late.

"Crooked Man" opens with sax and drums before piano and flute help out. Processed vocals before a minute sound rough as the drums support then piano, flute and sax as it sort of stutters along. Normal vocals after 1 1/2 minutes. Bass and piano lead a minute later then it's sax only before drums and vocals join in after 3 minutes. A calm before 4 minutes as it slows right down with drums and piano then sax. Organ joins in after 4 1/2 minutes then it's bass only a minute later but not for long. A detailed song at 7 minutes in length.

"I've Been Down This Road Before" is one of the two songs I don't like. Sounds like a commercial tune that's bluesy with the focus on the vocals. "Devil's Masquerade" is a top two for me. It opens with organ before the sax and drums kick in as we get such a great sound here. Vocals join in before 3 minutes and they are relaxed and sound best here. It's the chorus that really impresses me with that melancholy with vocals, sax, organ and drums.

"Psychomania" is the other tune I don't like. Man as soon as I see the title of this song it brings to mind the chorus where he shouts this word a few times. "Observations Of An Honest Man" opens with vocals and piano. Flute replaces the vocals as they stop briefly. The tempo picks up. Not a fan of this one but it's under 2 minutes.

"In The Bosom Of The Shout" opens with samples before we get an almost Free-Jazz vibe happening, not melodic at all. That changes before a minute as sax, drums and piano lead. Organ replaces the piano then the piano returns as the organ continues with sax and drums. I like the piano 2 minutes in with bass and percussion. I also like that dissonant sax before 3 1/2 minutes with bass, drums and organ. Great sound! We get both sax players playing around five minutes in then for the first time on this song we get vocals before 6 1/2 minutes. Organ and flute impress after 7 minutes as the vocals continue. Spoken words late.

Avant fans seem to favour this one although I must say this seems to get high ratings every where I looked. 3.5 stars is the perfect rating for me because while I do like it I have too many issues with it to offer up that fourth star.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |


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