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After Crying - Struggle for Life CD (album) cover


After Crying

Symphonic Prog

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erik neuteboom
4 stars In the mid-Nineties I discovered the incredible progrock from the Hungarian formation After Crying. This 2-CD set is a very comprehensive musical compilation of their best work and their stunning skills on a wide range of instruments. You can compare After Crying with Gentle Giant concerning the complexity of the music and versatility of every musician. The sound of their music has elements from ELP (bombastic keyboards) and King Crimson (Fripperian guitar) but in general it's a unique blend of classical, jazz, rock, symphonic and avant-garde: a combination of Keith Emerson keyboards, trumpet, fiery electric guitar in "Viadukt", soaring keyboards, repetetive guitarplay and powerful drumbeats in "Stalker", howling electric guitar, a wailing cello and powerful trumpet in "Suburban night", piano, cello and contrabas in the Gentle Giant sounding "Goblin dance", sensitive Fripperian guitar (like Edhels) in "Pilgrim's march" and a superb rendition of King Crimson's classic piece "Starless", goose bumps! After Crying doesn't make very accesible progrock because the combination of classical instruments (please, take a look at the track listing) and modern electric equipment and the variety of styles begs for an adventurous taste and most progheads are very conservative. An example: a few years ago I attended a gig in Holland during their world tour, I was one of the 40 visitors....! But this didn't bother the band, they played very inspired and enjoyed the hugh response from the 40 fans. EXCELLENT AND UNIQUE PROG!!
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Posted Monday, July 4, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Eriks said all essential things in his review. I can only concur in it. Only thing that I want to add is the joy for life, it gives, to find this kind of new and wonderfull music! This is extremely skillfull and complex music, strong and grandeur but there is air for the music to mature. Beautiful melodies an especially I liked the trumpet which is not so often heard in prog music. It gives extra nobility into the music. Also use of train track sounds as percussion was clever. Imaginative and great music. No faults. Must give a five.
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Posted Wednesday, August 9, 2006 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars Available as both an 'essential' single CD or as a full length double (which also contains 3 mp3 songs as well as plenty of other stuff to download), this captures Hungary's top progressive band on the road. And this really is progressive rock at its' very best. While in some ways similar to King Crimson (the one cover is of "Starless" which features guest John Wetton on bass and vocals), they are much more diverse than that. Songs veer from the very short to the very long, from the simple to the incredibly intricate. During the opener "Viaduct" there is a breathtaking trumpet run (yes, trumpet) competing with the electric guitar for dominance.

It is not an album to be played in the background, but rather one that demands total attention and if the listener is prepared to give the time then they will be much rewarded. Hungary has a lot to offer in the way of music, and After Crying have already performed at Baja Prog in Mexico. This is their eighth (and ninth) album on Periferic, and all that I have heard of theirs I have most definitely enjoyed. If you like 'proper' prog, and not 'neo-prog' then search these guys out.

Feedback #57, March 2000

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Posted Sunday, September 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is a tough album to review. My intro to the band is the excellent Show, their last studio album, which came out in 2003. Instead of going into their back catalog, I decided to go with this double live album, figuring I would get the highlights from their earlier work. I also liked the idea of this format on the hope they would use the live setting to do some improvising with the wide array of instruments that they use. This is the only AC album I have heard outside of Show. And it is a pretty patchy effort.

It appears that some of the songs are recorded and others done live, probably at differing times, so you do not get the one concert experience. There are Hungarian (I assume, I can't speak Hungarian) and English vocals but many of the songs are instrumental. When the band plays together proper, there are many wonderful songs, encompassing the usual guitar, keys, bass and drums but they also mix a good amount of horns and strings, both of which I love. These songs have quite a bit of variety and are usually quite bombastic. And I can't easily draw comparisons to other bands, but KC lovers would surely enjoy them. But there are many songs with one or two instruments that are mostly noodling and were probably performed to appease some of the lesser used members of the band. These are mostly sans drums and vocals and really turn the affair into quite a bit of drudgery. I have tried to compare this version to the one disk version of the album, and it doesn't appear that the one disk version is totally without some of these sparser songs.

AC really have a bit of the eclectic in them and their music often is adventurous and encompasses the true meaning of progressive. The musicianship here is wonderful and I applaud their attempt to break out of the mold. I normally am loathe to say that a double album would be much better cut down to one by getting rid of the filler but in this case, the filler really is totally against the grain of a full band effort. And the peaks and valleys that this album offers really keep me from reaching for it very often. If I ever were to make my own single CD into a double with MP3's, this would be the first and thus far only one that would come to mind. That album would easily be four stars. This one waffles between 2 and 3, but I'll go with 3.

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Posted Friday, May 2, 2008 | Review Permalink

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