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After Crying - Megalázottak És Megszomorítottak CD (album) cover


After Crying


Symphonic Prog

3.97 | 171 ratings

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James Lee
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Usually the rallying cry "play it loud!" is attached to music that is loud and noisy by nature, but in this case one needs to bump up the volume to hear all the beautiful subtleties. AFTER CRYING is one of the few bands (along with TALK TALK) that is not afraid of making a point with quiet or even silent passages. Individual songs come and go softly- you may still be waiting for the end of one when another begins. This is a moody, dramatic album, but rarely pretentious; a remarkable compromise between a classical requiem and a modern minimalist composition (without the detached conceit). The vocals are reverently hushed; low in the mix and generally understated- as if I could understand the lyrics anyway- but complement the instrumentation perfectly. The violin is particularly expressive- fans of David Cross' playing may enjoy comparing the two styles. Occasionally there is a discordant free-jazz influence which can contrast harshly with the dark and lovely moods, as in the last third of "A Gadarai Megszállott". The influence seems much more at home on the title track, which is the most prog-like of all the pieces, at times bringing to mind early-70s KING CRIMSON. I find it more similar to STEREOLAB's softer moments (parts of the COBRA AND PHASES GROUP album especially) than to almost anything in the prog stable. I wish I was more well-versed in Hungarian music, in order to get a better sense of context, but to me it sounds worthy of respect and very unique (despite the fact that I've just compared them to three other bands). Often the songs sound like highlights from an improvisational session rather than actual prepared pieces, and as such I never quite feel that I get enough of anything. Perhaps they are purposefully denying closure, or encouraging repeated listenings, but ultimately there are no truly moving moments to elevate the album beyond simply a good ambient soundtrack for a melancholy mood. I just wish they'd explored this style more fully rather than the ELP-ish offerings of the later works.
James Lee | 3/5 |


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