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Omega - 200 Years After The Last War CD (album) cover



Psychedelic/Space Rock

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5 stars Omega's second album to feature previously recorded songs in the Hungarian language on the Bellaphon label. A good introduction to the more progressive-rock sounding era of their long career ( 42 years and counting! ) featuring everything from mellotrons, moog synthesisers and a 20 minute show piece which features sevral sections beginning with a moody opening building up to a bluesy center section with all kinds of drum and guitar fills and back to a moody ending. Side two contains three very different tracks which demonstrates different approaches this band took with their early seventies music from the synthesiser dominated HelpTo find Me to the heavier You Don't Know whose organ intro could easily be mistaken for a Deep Purple riff. The title track is very folky and is very reminicient of the earlier music they recorded in the late 60's. The only drawback, as on just about every English-language Omega album, is the sometimes very poor english text and hard to understand lyrics. Otherwise an excellent example of early 1970's progressive rock.
Report this review (#24386)
Posted Tuesday, March 2, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Suite After a fine melodice and dreamy Hammond organ solo. Then thje vocals come (horribly pronounced), but well sung in terms of melody. The bassplaying is also niceand soon the track gets a rocking feel to it. A slower instrumental part follows, with a solo on the Hammond., followed by a blues rock part with another fine basslines, followed by another slower passgae, which culmintes in a blazing wah wahed guitar solo with a bluesy feel. The passages interchange agian and the track concludes with a heavy energetic instrumental outro. 5 stars

Help to find me After a spacey intro the keyboards along with guitar start the melody. The pronounciation is better this time and thew melody is good as well. The whole track has arock feel to it, although not too straightforward and raw, especially as it gets to the solo played on a moog. In fact, it┤s a very good one, with a dramatic feel to it and an actual melody. This is followed by a short guitar ppart and then the siung part with the leading motif returns. 5 stars

200 years after the last war An acoustic track with some progressive moments (especially in the outro with the spacey vocals). The melody is OK and there is also and understated guitar solo. 3.5 stars

You don┤t know A heavy rock track with a good melody and a catchy opening riff. Highly reminiscent of the classic Deep Purple era with Gillan. The melody is ok, but overall, this one sounds too formulaic. A guitar solo would do well, too. 3 stars

Overall rating: 4 STARS


Report this review (#133351)
Posted Thursday, August 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars I really enjoyed this album, but it isn't that special. This is a hardrock record, leaning a bit towards Deep Purple and Uriah Heep. Omega wanted to have an international sound here.

'Suite' sounds pleasant with the organs and mellotron. The piece also has the typically use of creating the expectation of an ending, but letting the piece end somewhere else. This sounds nice, but these tricks are a bit to familliar to me. I love the moog solo on 'help to find me'. I think this is their best piece on the record. The title track is a nice song, but not that special. 'You don't know' is a straightforward hardrocksong, which I like.

The record isn't very special and I think the album is more hardrock than progrock, but the record sounds pleasant and didn't annoy me. I liked it, but I expected a little more craziness on this Hungarian record.

Report this review (#195180)
Posted Saturday, December 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
4 stars I remember when I bought this LP back in 1974, one of the first prog albums I had in my life. It was released in Brazil during the brief ┤german rock┤ craze of the time. Several recording companies thought Germany would be the hot spot for new acts and hoped for great sales with the space rock genre. Of course that didn┤t happen and they quickly stopped releasing these records im Brazil, but not before we fans were presented with a generous dose of highly different music: Gila, Guru Guru, Ammon DŘull, Carthago, Eloy, Kraftwerk and so many others were available along with the pop artists of the moment and the more famous british and american rock acts of the day. Ok, Omega was from Hungary, but they released their english sung albums through the german Bellaphon label and that┤s why they ever arrived here.

Lucky me. At 15 I had the opportunity to listen to something unsual. Well, not too unusual. Omega was not that much progressive, although 200 years After The Last War is probably their most symphonic due to the 19 minute Suite that ran through the vinyl┤s entire first side. It has some definitve strong moments, with a great beginning full of strong vocals, fine guitars and beautiful keyboards (including a lot of the ever present mellotron). The middle section is way more hard rocking and bluesy before they return to a more symphonic approach on the third and final movement. Not entirely convincing, but with some excellent parts anyway. Side two has only three distinctive tracks: the hard hitting Trying To Find Me is a highlight. With a driving beat, followed by a delightful guitar riff and swirling moog line (and crazed solo), it┤s one of Omega┤s classic stuff. I even remember this tune being played on some rock stations.

The title track is a more folkish affair, with their producer taking the lead vocals for a change. Nice too and showed how versatile Omega was. The last song, You Don┤t Know is a typical heavy prog tune that coudl be on any MKII Deep Purple album: the guitar and organ riff is pure DP. Production is only average. Some people complained that the heavily accented vocals was a hindrance, but they didn┤t bother me at all. since they were very well sung. All the musicians are very good with a special nod to the excellent bass player.

Conclusion: a very good album. As a reviewerI┤m giving it 3.5 stars, but for personal reasons I┤ll round up to four. Probably Omega┤s best moemnt ever and their most progressive.

Report this review (#287030)
Posted Friday, June 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Definitely the most important Hungarian rock band with fans outside the country even in the 70's,releasing albums both in English and Hungarian.Formed in 1962 in Budapest by guitarist/singer J├ínos K├│bor and keyboardist L├íszl├│ Benk├Â,they initially covered English titles before the arrival of new keyboardist G├íbor Presser in 1967.Presser was a composing machine and the band started to record its first few albums.Until 1970 they released no less than four works in the Psychedelic Rock field with some Hard Rock leanings.Presser along with drummer J├│zsef Laux decided to leave Omega to form Locomotiv GT and on the new line-up Kobor was the singer,Benko the main keyboardist along with Ferenc Debreceni on drums,Tam├ís Mih├íly on bass and Gy├Ârgy Moln├ír on guitars.The sound of the band started to become more artistic and after two albums (''Omega'' and ''Omega 5'' from 1973),the break took place in 1974 with ''200 Years After the Last War''.

Side A is totally dedicated to the 19-min. virgin epic of the band ''Suite''.This is an eclectic mix of Hard Rock,Blues,ELOY-ish Psychedelic Rock and Classic Prog and a very good reason to purchase the album,with the classical education of Benko being a major element of the sound.The track contains plenty of shifting moods and mellow breaks between guitar- driven passages with hard-rocking and bluesy riffing and keyboard-based themes with magnificent organ and mellotron and a high level of dynamics from start to end.Vocals were never the strong point of the band,but fit well with the overall atmosphere.The result is a very strong composition with various influences and some really exciting parts.

Side B shows the band insisting on the more simplistic but certainly strong style of their previous albums.''Help to find me'' is a powerful heavy rock number with a pounding groove in the vein of DEEP PURPLE but also some great moog-synth work to be heard in the middle part and towards the end.The eponymous track starts very country-flavored,it has strong psychedelic elements,some decent jazzy guitars but it is by far the weakest track of the album and sounds rather dated for today's standards.The closing ''You Don't Know'' finds the band again in the DEEP PURPLE vein with Benko having a very JON LORD-style of organ playing and a very BEATLES-que vocal section.The track is again powerful,energetic,groovy but also too simple-structured compared to side A.

''200 Years After the Last War'' marked the end of an era and the start of a new age for Omega,with the band following the prog fashion of the period.The talent, education and skills of the members were enough to flirt with the style anf if you like your Hard Rock with plenty of progressive moves,this album is a great contender of being part of your collection.Recommended.

Report this review (#540961)
Posted Monday, October 3, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars I don't have a whole lot of Omega albums in my collection, probably due to my local record stores don't stock them too often. I often wonder if it's just lack of any Hungarians or Americans of Hungarian descent living in Oregon that has a lot to do with it. Probably. I could just as easily go online and buy them. I did find a copy of 200 Years After the Last War at a Eugene record store, a German copy on Bacillus, naturally, and it's by far the best album I have ever heard from them. Two songs are English language remakes of stuff from Omega 5: Szvit, that is "Suite" and "You Don't Know". "Suite" is a side-length suite, hence the name, and while the original is still great, they improved by the presences of Mellotron instead of real strings. So it ends up sounding a bit like the Moody Blues meets Uriah Heep. The more calm moments remind me of the Moody Blues, the more heavy moments, with Laszo Benko giving some heavily fuzzed organ (in the Jon Lord and Ken Hensley tradition) gives the Heep reminder. Then you have the original "Nem Tudom a Neved" called "Help to Find Me" (the Hungarian language version later appeared in 1975 on Omega 6: Nem Tudom a Neved). This is another great song, particularly dig the extended creative synth solo. The title track is English language version of a song from an album they were doing around 1972 that was never released at the time (opinion being that the communist censors rejected it, the other was due to Gabor Presser's departure for Locomotiv GT). name escaped me. This album was their second Western recording, and I have to say this is great stuff, and a great place to start if you don't know Omega.
Report this review (#1456935)
Posted Thursday, August 27, 2015 | Review Permalink

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