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4 stars Excellent symphonic space prog with loads of keyboard soaked instrumental passages and acid laced guitar solos. Vocals are in Hungarian are are quite good with lots of symphonic chants throughout. EAST generate some real serene melodies and lush landscapes which makes this album easy to fall for. Songs on "Huseg" seem to run together effortlessly and in fact the whole albums runs very much like a concept album should which this is. EAST are a highly professional unit who play a very sophisticated and deep styled progressive rock whoch is very imaginative. Fans of good symphonic prog will need to have this album in their collection.
Report this review (#1798)
Posted Tuesday, March 16, 2004 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars 3.5 stars. This Hungarian band made two albums in the early eighties, this is the second of the two and the better one in my opinion.The lyrics are sung in their own language, a language that is pleasant to the ears. Keyboards lead the way on this one, although guitar is quite prominant and there is a light fusion element that brings to mind VISUAL CLIFF at times.

This is heard right away in the opener, an instrumental called "Faith". I love the synth melody throughout this song over top of the drums and guitar.The guitar leads are fantastic as Janos Varga lets it rip. By the way I highly recommend Janos' solo albums which I prefer over the EAST records. Anyway the last 20 seconds of the song gets faster and faster until it's over. Great tune. "Search Yourself" is where we first hear the vocals as well as some soaring guitar. "Magical Power" is another instrumental and another highlight. There is some fantastic guitar in this one and the keys and guitar trade solos throughout. "It Was Me" is a slower paced song with lots of synths and vocals. "The Happiness Of The Endless Space" is a short instrumental featuring some jazzy keys.

"Born Again" is another beautiful song, with the birds singing and we get a catchy keyboard melody throughout."Windows" is my favourite, it has such a good beat to it, as well as spacey bubbling synths throughout. Great vocals too. "Losers" is another favourite with emphatic vocals and a good guitar solo late. "Walkin On The Clouds" is an instrumental featuring prominant keys and guitar. "You Must Wait" is an emotional song with more beautiful guitar and keys.The last song is a short, contemplative tune called "Meditation".

All the lyrics in the liner notes are in Hungarian, but as I have shown they give the English song titles too. If your looking for some worth while music from the eighties, check out EAST, you won't be disappointed.

Report this review (#101641)
Posted Tuesday, December 5, 2006 | Review Permalink
Prog-Folk Team
4 stars When the anglos were swaying robotically to Gary Numan, the eastern Europeans were still gleefully playing high quality symphonic progressive rock. Nobody told them it was uncool or would not sell, and, perhaps as a result, this 1982 album makes few if any concessions to the commercial sound of its time. Or maybe they were just a few years behind the times. Regardless of the reasons or motivations, we should be thankful to have such a document.

On Huseg, East takes what seems like a simplistic approach, that of alternating instrumental tracks with songs sung in harmonious Hungarian, but it works fairly well because the instrumentals tend to the fusion side of things, at times reminding me of PASSPORT, while the vocal tracks are more Slavic symphonic in the manner of OMEGA or early BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST. This unlikely marriage does not seem to be arranged in the least, but perhaps sets out to explore different forms of faith or conflicts around them. The best way to experience Huseg is to listen from beginning to end and not worry about when one track ends and another begins.

The album opens with the title cut with some blistering leads as well as meters characteristic of the Eastern bloc, a pattern followed more or less on the other odd-numbered tracks. "Search Yourself" establishes the pattern of heartfelt singing of melancholy melodies to celestial keyboards that is reinforced by such beautiful songs as "It was me", "Born Again", "Losers", and "You must wait".

3.5 stars rounded up because this band kept the "faith" during some very dark years both musically and politically.

Report this review (#136618)
Posted Thursday, September 6, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Due to the fact that the Eastern Europe regimens were not very fond with Rock which was seen as an expression of Capitalism, Prog didn't reached Hungary exactly at the same time than in the rest of Europe, so during the 80's when the rest of the world saw Progressive Rock as an archaic sub-genre and surrendered to Synth Pop, bands as EAST played solid Neo Prog very close to the Symphonic of the pioneers but with extra elements that made it richer than ever before.

"Hüség" (Faith) starts with the self titled song that starts with a nice jazzy feeling that reminds me a bit of Jean Luc Ponty but with a preeminent Symphonic component, the keyboard sections by Géza Pálvölgyi are very entertaining and blend perfectly with the electric guitar that gives an extra touch of hard Rock, interesting opener.

"Keresd Onmagad" (Search Yourself) begins extremely dramatic with a strong organ intro that leads to a vocal section in Hungarian that without loosing the dark atmosphere, softens a bit the mood, again some guitar solos add a nice touch.

"Magikus Ero" (Magical Power) follows the path of the previous track with strong and mysterious organ, but soon morphs into a faster track with lush keyboards and frantic guitars, a nice change that shows the ban has versatility and the ability to move radically from one style to another, extremely dramatic.

"En Voltam...." (It was Me) places us before a new change of atmosphere, more oriented towards the sound of ALAN PARSONS PROJECT (Pyramid softer tracks), even though is a simpler track, keeps the interest of the Progressive Rock fan due to the excellent organ and Mellotron solos, another good song.

"A Végtelen tér Oröme" (The Happiness of Endless Space) is a short instrumental interlude that works as an intro for "Üjjászületés" (Born Again) which privileges the Melodic Folk side of the band, with a beautiful melody that only changes near the end with another excellent organ and Mellotron based passage.

"Ablakok" (Windows) shows a fourth face of the band, now they get closer to some sort of Space Rock with heavy atmospheres diluted a bit with the vocals that sound a bit out of place, an atmosphere that is kept in "Vesztesek" (Losers), this time with a much better performance of "Miklós Zareczky" in the lead vocals and a surprising guitar solo by János Varga in the style of David Gilmour.

"Felhókón Sétálva" (Walking on the Clouds) as it name indicates is another spacey song, which starts soft with a nice piano buts gets faster and stronger as it advances, on the other hand "Varni Kell" (You must Wait) is an exquisite Symphonic track with good piano performance and strong vocals supported by the whole bands that makes an outstanding job.

"Hüség" ends with "Merenges" (Meditation), a short melancholic song that fades gently with the album.

Even though some demanding Prog fans may find it too soft, I believe we are before an excellent album recorded when the genre was agonizing in the rest of the world impulses the development of Progressive Rock in a region that was giving the first steps towards Rock (Even when in some Eastern countries Prog had developed before than in others).

Bein accurate, I would rate "Hüség", with 3.5 stars but being impossible, will have to go with a higher rating of 4, because is clearly over the average.

Report this review (#221743)
Posted Thursday, June 18, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Despite Progressive Rock's decline East were determined to revive the sound, at least at the early stages of their career, as their label even released an English version of ''Jatekok'' entitled ''Games'' in an attempt to hit the foreign market.Moreover the band spent no time aiming to a sophomore release and the follow up release saw the light just a year later under the title ''Huseg''.

Stylistically the style of the Hungarians did not change a bit.''Huseg'' is again a mix of grandiose, spacey Symphonic Rock with Fusion, nicely balanced between the two styles, although the more Fusion-esque tracks are not that conveincing.Janos Varga's star shines again throughout the release and Istvan Nemeth keyboard work remains distinct but still pretty atmospheric.Most of the tracks have this ELOY/ANYONE'S DAUGHTER/PINK FLOYD/KAIPA combination of Space and Symphonic Rock with quite powerful guitar lines and superb synth/organ passages, often accompanied by haunting choirs, and this is the style East definitely performed very well.The other side of East, as aforementioned, explored a more Fusion style of playing, with keyboards and interplays in the forefront.The music is fast, rich and often adventurous, but it suffers (as most of the 80's Fusion efforts) from a slick and plastic sound, which additionally hurts the album's consistency.However even these tracks have some good keyboard runs and guitar solos to offer.

If you liked ''Jatekok'', ''Huseg'' will not dissapoint you.Divided into low-tempo symphonic soundscapes and more upbeat Fusion explorations, this album has plenty to offer.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Report this review (#817135)
Posted Sunday, September 9, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars A very beautiful album from this Hungarian band. One of the rare good work from 80 decade. A spacey parts but strong music composition made a beautiful effect in one of best albuns of this band. We can listen some keiboards and guitars duets with some very good solos. If they try made a comercial album, precisely the opposite is happened. They made a complex music album composition with a singer with a nothing special voice but really effective. We can listen some sintetiser efects but not interfere with the quality of composition, despite the use of the sounds of the eighties for keyboards. All the tracks don't have much time, 5,56 minutes the two more long but they made a beautiful album that i like very much. To me, a good adiction in East Progressive Music collectors. I give 4 stars
Report this review (#831761)
Posted Monday, October 1, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars This band started out as a very credible, largely improvising, instrumental Symphonic-Prog outfit. By the time they managed to have recording contracts (still behind the Iron Curtain) their music had become severely compromised. Not for commercial advantage, but if only they were seen as an influential underground group that had to be "tamed" by the authorities.

Tamed all-right, their essence was largely relinquished, retaining only elements of their former delivery. This album "Huseg" translates as "Loyalty contains remnants of the earlier years. Reasonably good with vocals that are not "bad", only "excess to requirement", the instrumental bits command due attention.

Special mention is due to Geza PALVOLGYI (keyboards) , who has become a darling of the Hungarian rock scene contributing to a miriad of different projects, some are more noteworthy than others.

EAST had a revolving door to great Hungarian musicians, but their recorded material with the band rarely did justice to the talents involved.

Founding member Janos VARGA (guitar) still helps to lift this album to some more credibility, but if you wanted to hear them at their best, you'd want to check out the first release by the JANOS VARGA PROJECT.

In comparison with most of their other works, I feel compelled to rate this one a 4. Without the forced vocals it would be closer to 4.5.

BTW, this band is sitting here rather erroneously as Neo-Prog, a genre that they don't belong with. Someone please take note.


Report this review (#926844)
Posted Friday, March 8, 2013 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars In 1982 most people consider Prog to be dead . . . but not in the East. Hungarian Neo Prog; some say that his may be the greatest prog album to come from behind the Iron Curtain.

1. "H's'g ~ Faith" (3:43) opens like a BABYLON song before a fairly regular pattern is established over which guitars and keys duel and duplicate each other with instrumental melodies. It's as if JAN HAMMER were the main soloist in one of JEAN-LUC PONTY's premier album lineups. Great Jazz-Rock Fusion song with fairly good sound engineering. (9.25/10)

2. "Keresd 'nmagad ~ Search yourself" (4:23) sounds like highly predictable, rather basic song from a mediocre 1970s classic rock band which happens to feature a great guitar solo and some excellent synthesizer work and a great finale. The vocal is good but suffers from a poor sound effect choice. (8.5/10)

3. "M'gikus er' ~ Magical power" (2:55) continues from the previous song but shifts from the opening into something more powerful, more engaging before speeding up to become quite an exciting instrumental jam with synth and electric guitar trading leads over the hard-driving rhythm section. (9/10)

4. "'n voltam ~ It was me" (5:56) slow guitar arpeggi in two channels as Mikl's sings. Nice vocal. He sounds like the lead singer to Polish band LIZARD. The rest of the band joins in during the second minute but the pace or structure do not change. Same with the instrumental section in the third minute--which has some awesome organ-supported choir "ahhs." Soft and delicate again for the next verse, though Mikl's does begin to get more forceful with his delivery. Repeat the choir "ahhs" (the chorus?) a couple rounds before a spacious passage is created at the end of the fifth minute to prelude a melodramatic slow instrumental finale. Great song until the finale. (9/10)

5. "A v'gtelen t'r 'r'me ~ The happiness of the endless space" (1:38) a latter-period MAHAVISHNU-like jazz-rock fusion interlude (i.e. melodic). (5/5)

6. "'jj'sz'let's ~ Born again" (3:40) opens with some spacey synths and bird song tweeting around before the song jumps into a nice, simple, slow weave for a brief lyric before a really cool stringed instrument solos. The vocal is okay until the awesome piano-emphasized chorus, which is then followed by a surprisingly simple instrumental section with dull synth solo. (8.75/10)

7. "Ablakok ~ Windows" (5:44) muted guitar arpeggi with panning space synth flourishes gives a cool opening sound. Around 40 seconds in the full band enters with a steady TD-like drum beat and fast-thumping single-note bass line while Mikl's sings in a matter-of-fact way in one of his lower registers. Nice bridge to the wonderful chorus. Love the slushy FIXX-like guitar chords. Back to the driving Berlin School-like rhythm section for the next vocal verse before another nice bridge and awesome chorus. Love the upper register bass work here! A little "Eminence Front"-like feel to this part. (9.75/10)

8. "Vesztesek ~ Losers" (3:44) opens with a little SUPERTRAMP-like keyboard that is quickly blended with other instruments before supporting another LIZARD-like vocal. Great multi-voiced chorus. Mikl's' vocal is quite impassioned. Impressive! Second chorus leads into a slow-to-build but powerful electric guitar solo that plays through a full cycle of the verse-chorus section before the song ends. Awesome! (9.5/10)

9. "Felh'k'n s't'lva ~ Walkin' on the clouds" (4:22) oepns with some really cool smooth jazzy Fender Rhodes play (think HUBERT LAWS or JOE SAMPLE) with rhythm set by percussive muted guitar arpeggi. Synths play little leads over the top for about 90 seconds before the song shifts, jumping into a full rock band 80s jazz-rock fusion style and sound. Even the synth choices and solos shout out, "1980s!" It's nice but so dated! (8.75/10)

10. "V'rni kell ~ You must wait" (5:56) nice electric piano soloing that is eventually joined by electrified classical guitar and vocals before the song switches to a synth strings and bass pedal foundation. It quickly turns instrumental with a VANGELIS-like electronic sound palette for a minute or so until everything slows down and changes palette and texture for another vocal section. (9.25/10)

11. "Mereng's ~ Meditation (2:14) soft chorus electric guitar chords arpeggiated with fretless bass accompanying while Mikl's sings in his most breathy, delicate voice. Very nice. Nice ending to a wonderful album. (4.75/5)

Total Time: 44:17

Okay, I'll accept the Neo Prog assignation but to my ears there is far less imitation of Anglo prog here than of European artists and trends--especially ELOY, the Berlin School, some of the more jazz-oriented French and Rock Progressivo Italiano trends.

A-/five stars; a minor masterpiece of progressive rock music and a most excellent contribution from behind the Iron Curtain. Because of its vocals and song structures, this one might even surpass the 1970s releases of SBB, FERMATA, MODRY EFEKT, and CZESŁAW NIEMEN.

Report this review (#2308261)
Posted Tuesday, January 21, 2020 | Review Permalink

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