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Tabula Smaragdina - A Szavakon Túl CD (album) cover


Tabula Smaragdina


Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 16 ratings

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4 stars Tabula Smaragdina is a hungarian band, mainly a project, Krivánik Dániel (keyboards), Zsigó László (drums and percussion), Popomájer Tibor (bass guitar) are living in Hungary and their lead vocalist, guitar player Bogáti-Bokor Ákos lives in Romania, in Cluj-Napoca.

Ákos is known by his other progressive rock band Yesterdays, but here, in my oppinion he shows the other side of his writing and since the band's bass guitar player had to leave while the album was recorded he played all the bass guitars on this album. Although Ákos is the main writer of the band, the sound and the mood is not very Yesterdays-ish at all. Dániel, the keyboard player is a very good writer too, but László, the drummer he also writes songs on guitar (he played guitar in his other band called Mortem, in Nyírbátor, Hungary)

The songs are more colourful than I uset to know them in live versions.

The CD has a PC enhancement bonus with multimedia, videos, photos and all the lyrics' English translation. Very good idea and nice design. It just starts when you put the audio CD into your PC.

Amethyst is an acoustic intro played on 3 acoustic guitars, a nice and slow opening to the first piece (the longest song on the album): A szavakon innen (This Side Of The Words).

This Side Of The Words. Starts with a powerful symphonic prog intro which leads into a Neal Morse-like piano playing and singing. The guitar solo reminds me of the Flower Kings, lots of Roine Stolt infuences here. Ákos's bass sound is very close to Jonas Reingold's, it's not a surprise, Jonas played with Yesterdays on their Inferno track. Although this song is very complex, it is full of harmonies and pop-like catchy melodies. The end part is something between Supertramp and Beatles. The song closes with an acoustic guitar improvisation in the spirit of Trevor Rabin.

Tél / Winter starts with a bass guitar riff and the band takes over. Gentle Giant infuences here with the vocals, nice stereo arrangements, true symphonic prog, especially the chorus, poliphonical vocals and fantastic lyrics. Pinkfloydian slide guitar solo in the end.

Egyszerű játék / Simple Game - is a love song, Lenny Kravitz-like vocal effects, nice pop-prog song, with sophisticated rythms in the chorus.

Naplemente is the silent point of the album, an acoustic solo helepd by mellotron and a nice moog sound. It reminds me of Ákos's acoustic solo on Yesterdays' Moonlit Garden album called Ha majd egyszer. Antal Karola, the backing vocal singer of the album here shines through as a lead vocalist.. beautiful melancholy.... I would like to hear her more in the future. We could hear her as lead singer of Tabula Smaragdina on their contribution to Dante's Purgatorio (Musea/Colossus)

My Electric Cat is a musical joke. A good one! Starting with Porky Pig's voice from an old cartoon it is filled with wah-wah bass, vintage electrc guitar sounds. Lots of Gentle Giant stuff here!!!

Az Átutazó - it is probably my favourite song on this album. Powerful starting, killer jazz-bass sound with distorsion, where Jonas Reingold meets Chris Squier... The hammond organ is very harsh. The verse surprises me with it's mellow and slow rythm... but the chorus is angelic and beautiful. Antal Karola's voice is a real treat on this song! The solo is also a surpirse with an acoustic guitar... so much beauty and melody in this one... In the end the bass guitar takes the lead again.

Álmok fénye / Lights Of Dreams is the "Another Day" (Dream Theater) of this album... nice pop song with mellotrons, beautiful chorus vocals, soprano saxophone solo (by Makkai István)... a real treat if you like melodies. The soprano saxophone solo is followed by a very interesting guitar solo...

Lehetnél / You Could be... it one of the best song on this album, written by Zsigó László, the drummer of the band. This song reminds me of King's X, Platypus but not as a simple copy it is original and powerful, a true rock tune. In the end, Ákos takes the lead with the guitar and the song ends in a Yes like guitar solo extravaganza, but not the Steve Howe era, he sound more like Trevor Rabin here.... Zsigó László's drumming is very virtuoso!

A szavakon túl / Beyond Words is the final chapter of this album. Starts with mellow piano and a breathetaking moog gliding ascension. Perfect! Krivánik Dániel's song is filled with wonderful piano passages and a fantastic moog solo reminiscent of Wakeman, but quite original and vitruoso too. Sophisticated rythm passages and a nice and almost gospel-like chorus in the end, this reminded me of Spock's Beard's Wind At My Back... Before the song ends, Ákos played the main riff of Lehetnél with bass but in different time signature, and after several listening I found out that several themes from the album are retourned here, in a hidden and elegant way... a perfect idea to close a progressive rock album with!

After all it is a high quality progrock album again from Hungary. In my oppinion it is a must for every symphonic prog fan. After hearing their Colossus/Musea contributions, I am very optimistic that we have a very talented young band to deal with in the future.

A szavakon túl /Boeyond Words is colourful and nice debut album. They are one or two albums away from their masterpiece, but I will give this album 4 stars!

Katusnya | 4/5 |


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