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Psychedelic/Space Rock

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4 stars When the communist Hungarian government allowed Omega to tour outside that country in the 1960's singer Janos Kobor would don a t-shirt with a red star on it. However, he was not permitted to do so during performances within the Eastern Bloc.This 1973 debut English version of Omega seeks to also reflect the fact that they were from Eastern Europe by the minimalist cover design.German record producer Peter Hauuke brought the band to Germany to record in English and supplied them with better instruments and provided them with superior engineering techniques which demonstrated what this band was really capable of and the result was this remarkable album. It contains songs previously recorded in the Hungarian language taken from various albums. The key piece is the final track, White Magic Stone and Bass player Tamas Mihaly is in full form. The piece is dynamic and rises and falls beautifully and you just can't get any more prog. The Bird is a track which almost develops into heavy metal stylings during the mid-song guitar solo fill. One of the best studio guitar overdubs I've ever heard! Not a concept album but an excellent collection of music. Prog history in the making. If you can find a copy snach it up.
Report this review (#24393)
Posted Monday, September 13, 2004 | Review Permalink
Prog-Folk Team
2 stars A hybrid between Jane and Barclay James Harvest, Omega was pretty much all you got from Hungary before Solaris came along. Accomplished musically, they were somewhat heavy handed here in the early going. At least three of the songs are pretty basic rockers with driving beats, tandem singing, and various solos, with very little in the way of progressive inspiration. But this is not the case on "After a Hard Year" and "White Magic Stone", which feature stronger melodies and harmonies, not to mention rich mellotron accompaniment. It is here that they sound more like Harvest era BJH than anything else. A worthy blueprint, and enough to whet the appetite for more, but the preponderance of plod rock keep this Omega from being an Alpha effort.
Report this review (#165519)
Posted Tuesday, April 1, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Quite a gem!

Strangely, I've been familiar with these songs since my childhood in Hungary, largely due to the excellent 1972 live album "Elo Omega", but only in recent times I've heard the studio versions. It's almost like hearing them with a set of fresh ears as the arrangements in the studio are richer, more rounded, partly due to the added lashes of sweeping mellotron work.

In 1971 the band lost two key members who became part of the first Hungarian "supergroup" LOCOMOTIV GT. Surprisingly, it has become a win-win situation for both bands. Back then, OMEGA was barely more than a Teeny-Pop band. Replacing only their lost drummer, the band had drastically changed course and embraced a Hard-Rock/Psychedelic approach.

This album heralds the beginning of their "Floydian" period, representing a virtually instant transformation. The tracks here appear as if Deep Purple meets Pink Floyd around 1972 to quite an enjoyable effect. Relatively coarse Rock blended with intelligent Space material. The longer, closing track "Magical White Stone" is a perfect illustration and remains an outstanding number in general Prog music.

I quite enjoyed this studio version and with the exception of one, or two tracks, I'd have no problem with recommending this album to DP, PF, or Eloy fans.


Report this review (#993562)
Posted Monday, July 8, 2013 | Review Permalink

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