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After Crying - Show CD (album) cover

SHOW

After Crying

 

Symphonic Prog

3.74 | 74 ratings

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octopus-4
Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
4 stars The New World's coming and the old one's gone.....

It looks like the beginning of a catastrophic Sci-Fi movie, something like Terminator....I mean in a good sense: NWC is a powerful song very dramatic and an excellent opener. The use of brasses and orchestra that's typical of this band enhances the mood of the song. Symphonic prog at its best, with the exception of the few seconds of rap in the middle. It's not rare finding speeches in an After Crying song, but rapping is not in their chords. Luckily it's just for few seconds. Apart of it this is a 5-stars song for me.

I've seen in previous reviews that one of the weakness of this album seems to be the excessive variety of genres which makes it discontinuous. I don't agree with this point. Each song is different from the others, it's true, but it's almost the same in all their other albums with the exception of De Profundis which is all very dark. A kind of darkness which is found again in the second track: "Invisible Legion", a title that's dark on its own. It's interesting seeing how the band is still very linked with classical and symphonic music even now that Csaba Vedres is no longer a member. Just to mention, the speech on this song is not rhythmic and doesn't sound "rap". It's more like a Roger Waters background voice. After 6 minutes the brasses are in. I'm maybe the only one, but in this short minute of full brasses I see a connection with MAGMA., mainly because of the darkness. The track proceeds transforming the darkness into sadness, thanks to a slow violin solo, it's a coda but it leaves me as there was something missing.

After that, it appears a logical choice making it be followed a more rocking instrumental. It's again orchestral. It's the kind of things on which After Crying are closer to ELP. I mean the orchestral parts of Works, so I may say that they are closer to Aaron Copland, instead.

"Welcome On Board" has lyrics. It seems to me that the voice of the guest Judit Andrejszki (if she's the singer) is very similar to Sally Oldfield. The male voice which sings on the second part of the song is good but this alternance makes this song sound a bit like Mostly Autumn without the Gilmourish guitar of Bryan Josh. Nice song.

Another short violin based track is "Paradise Lost". This really sounds "classical" and is followed by another rocking intro. "Remote Control" reminds to ELP not only for the orchestra. Also the sung part sounds similar to Lake (in the notes, not in the voice). Regardless it, it's a song that I enjoy very much, especially for the orchestral arrangement. It rocks! The very funny things that the speaker of Radio Technopoly says are a plus and the jazzy section which follows is great.

After the radio, now we are in Technopolis. Starting this song with some electronics is a logical choice. The keyboard (it may be a trumpet, I don't know) gives immediately the idea of the weirdness to come. Major chords sound weird like the speaker on the previous track. Loops, tapes and electronics together with the brasses....then a full orchestra gives start to a fast piano played on bass keys which is supported by electronic drumming and noises. Very prog and very symphonic. This is the highest musical peak of the album for composition, playing skill and arrangement.

Let's take some rest, with one minute and half of piano and keyboards. A short dream. It's only defect is being so short, but on its final chord it introduces another dark and powerful brass intro. "Bone Squad" sounds very cinematic, like the Copland inspired ELP things. The vocals don't have anything to do with Lake this time.

The title of the following track "Wanna Be A Member?" sounds sarcastic in the mood set by the songs up to now. The rap which follows the keyboards intro sounds less misplaced on this song, but I'm not sure to like it. The music on which they rap is very good, anyway, so it's not a track to skip. Rap is a single negative thing that doesn't jeopardize the song.

"Secret Service" starts like it was on Radio Waves, but is really darker respect to that Waters solo. It's a sort of slow waltz initially with piano, violins and vocals. Great song full of non simplistic melody. Theatrical. Good for a rock opera. But it's also the longest track. It develops with guitar supporting the vocals, but it's the trumpet which adds drama to the vocals until they fade out. After 6 minutes the first significant change. I don't know if it's part two or three. There's a quote of Ravel's bolero which introduces a bluesy piano part, then the music becomes darker. It's the thing closer to Art Zoyd that I've heard in a symph prog band. Just for a while, then they come back to the symphonic area with another sung part. Another piece of bolero, louder than previously. When it ends there's a chaotic transition to the final part which is very powerful. The coda is performed only by I think a fender piano which fades out after few seconds.

There's time for a three minutes instrumental strangely made of drone drumming behind a sad melody. After the lyrics (farewell to all....) the keyboard play a weird celtic melody. In the sense that the melody is good for a fiddle but is played by a keyboard with an unusual sound.

The closer is jazzy and dark and again makes me think to MAGMA. Well, probably too light for Magma, maybe some more light zeuhl band, like Eskaton. Of course the symphonic element is prevalent also here, I'm not proposing to move After Crying to Zeuhl.

It's a pity that because of few little weaknesses I can't rate this album with the maximum, however After Crying are one of the best bands that I've discovered on the archives and this album is to me an excellent addition to anybody's collection (as well as any After Crying release up to now).

octopus-4 | 4/5 |

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