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Pythagoras - After The Silence - A Symphonic Poem CD (album) cover

AFTER THE SILENCE - A SYMPHONIC POEM

Pythagoras

Symphonic Prog


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erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars In the late Seventies I used to visit a record-store named "Moonlight Records" in my hometown The Hague. One day the owner drummer Bob de Jong told me that he had founded a duo with synthesizer player René de Haan and made an electronic oriented LP entitled "Journey to the vast unknown". This album was played on a national radio- programm and within a week he had received hundreds of requests for that debut-LP! This album is the second and final effort from the duo Pythagoras, it's far more progressive and symphonic.

1 - After the silence

1st Movement: This is a typical electronic atmosphere intro featuring soaring synthesizers, very spacey. 2nd Movement: First a bombastic eruption with lush Mellotron and organ, then soaring keyboards as an introduction to a very Gilmourian inspired, often howling and fiery guitar solo from ... guest guitarist ARJEN LUCASSEN (known as the brainchild behind AYREON). The final part contains a slow rhytm with a bombastic climate delviering pleasant drumming. 3rd Movement: On the Mighty M400 Mellotron René de Haan plays majestic choir- Mellotron waves, wonderful blended with spacey synthesizer flights and in the end some moving violin-Mellotron play.

2 - After the silence

4th Movement: PLACKBAND keyboardist Michel van Wassem plays the choir-Mellotron sound on a Novotron, impressive! 5th Movement: This part features soaring synthesizers and string-ensemble, then a bombastic eruption with choir-Mellotron and soft drum beats, in the end we hear the sound of waves and a great build-up , VIVALDI-inspired violin soli. 6th Movement: First a swinging rhythm with lush keyboards and fiery electric guitar riffs, then a dreamy climate with melancholical Mellotron and violin. 7th Movement: The atmosphere alternates from spacey with synthesizer sounds and choir-Mellotron to a slow rhythm featuring slow but very moving guitar runs with bass- pedals and choir-Mellotron, WONDERFUL!

This album sounds a bit simple and amateurish but if you like moving, 24-carat symphonic rock with lush MELLOTRON and you want to hear the early prog work of ARJEN LUCASSEN, this is an interesting, very warm album!

Report this review (#42618)
Posted Friday, August 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars The one and probably only claim to fame of this album is that it features a very young Arjen Lucassen on guitar, somewhere around the same time he was putting his first licks down on vinyl with Bodine and well before he would hit the big time with his ongoing Ayreon. Otherwise this is largely a instrumental experiment in keyboard and synthesized progressive meandering that is kind of fun to listen to, but not particularly impressive or complex.

Lucassen’s guitar work here would appear to be heavily influenced by David Gilmour, although some of the heavier parts (and there aren’t many) wouldn’t be out of place on a Deep Purple album. There’s also some flute playing and violin, with the most prominent violin track being in the 3rd movement “Endless Hymn”, which I would also rate as the most impressive track. The 5th movement is also heavy on violin, but here the instrument competes with too many keyboards to be as effective as it is on the earlier track.

Other noteworthy instrumental passages include a synthesized choir section on the 4th movement played by Michel van Wassem on something called a Novotron. I’ve no idea what that is, but I assume it has circuit boards of some sort and a keyboard or two. Steve Hackett played one on ‘Spectral Mornings’, which is the only other time I’ve heard this instrument mentioned.

Lucassen makes his presence known on the 2nd movement, and then seems to take a back seat for the most part until the 6th movement, which is where he gets a bit heavier and more along the lines of Ritchie Blackmore with somewhat shorter sustains and more chord progressions than Gilmour was known for. At this point the music seems to take a turn away from space rock and more toward heavy prog, although the dominance of the various keyboards keep it from turning into a full-fledged hard rock album at any point.

The ‘Grand Finale’ 7th movement predictably emphasizes mellotron choir and violin after a brief rhythmic buildup, and a typically bombastic finale that ends abruptly to close the album.

I’m a little surprised this hasn’t been picked up by one of the major progressive reissue labels. The only place I know of to get it is from the Korean mini-LP company Media Arte, who released it earlier this year, most likely only because Lucassen’s name is in the credits.

This is a mildly interesting album if you’re into seventies keyboard-driven spacey prog, or if you want to hear what Lucassen sounded like before he hit the big time. Otherwise you probably won’t be too interested. The music is well done though, even if the production is a bit amateurish, so three stars is not overly generous. And that’s what we’ll go with for now.

peace

Report this review (#179270)
Posted Saturday, August 9, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars Arjen Lucassen's debut album, no less.

Well, Pythagoras was not a band he dominated. His soaring guitars is present on two of the seven socalled movements here and I do not think he rate this album as one of his best albums. But we all have to start somewhere.

This is supposed to be a symphonic prog album, but do not get too carried away. This album is as much Genesis clone as I am a basking shark. The music is a mix of space rock, some folk rock, a healthy dosage of symphonic prog, some neo prog and a lot of krautrock. It is not a million miles away from Ayreon though and their fans should check out this album. This album is certainly spacy enough.

The main instruments are keyboards, violins and Arjen's guitar. There is no vocals here. The violins is used for creating a somber mood. The use of the violins here is excactly like My Dying Bride used violins on their more somber albums. I wonder if they got that idea from this album ?

The music is suffering from a bit too much sameness and the lack of variations. The music sometimes feels like funeral dirges and sometimes like the band is on too much LSD and experiences things the listeners cannot hear. But the music is generally good and a worthy listening session or two.

3 stars

Btw. Me too is very surprised that the Pythagoras albums has not been re-released by the many re-releases record labels. They most certainly deserves it and the inclusion of the Arjen Lucassen name/brand should make these investments risk free.

Report this review (#351021)
Posted Sunday, December 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The aftermath of ''Journey to the vast unknown'' was so strong a few thousand copies were additionally pressed to fullfill the needs of the requesting market.Towards a second album the duo of Rene de Haan and Bob de Jong worked in a more professional way.Guest musicians were recruited so the project could sound like a normal band, among them a young Arjen Anthony Lucassen on guitars and bass pedals and Plackband's keyboardist Michel van Wassem on Novotron (a variation of the Mellotron).Also Nick Blaser paricipated on violin, Martin Knaap on bass and Carolien Krul on flute.''After the silence'' was recorded between September and December 1981, released in 1982 and distributed by WEA in a clear move towards a better selling result.

The new Pythagoras album was split in seven movements, the first three capturing the first side of the LP.Unlike the expectations the production remains quite muddy, typical of an underground than a professional album, and the music is grounded in the field of Electronic Prog with obvious tendencies towards more symphonic textures.De Haan's spacey synthesizers are still the driving and undoubtful force, but the strong use of dual keyboard soundscapes like the Mellotron/synth combination and the intelligent use of downtempo guitars now remind a lot of PINK FLOYD or even compatriots FOCUS with a bit of KING CRIMSON in the more orchestral passages.The second side is more balanced and propably slightly better than the first.The fourth movement is a grandiose Electronic Prog opus, like the synths of KLAUS SCHULZE meet the ethereal Mellotron of TONY BANKS, while the fifth is characterized by the mournful opening violin work of Blaser, followed by an intense Orchestral Prog with guitars, keyboards and bass in the forefront, before the powerful, cinematic outro covers it all with de Haan's unbelievable work on Mellotron and synthesizers.The short sixth part is highlighted by Lucassen's melodic CAMEL-esque solo, giving birth to the peak of the album, the 6-min. long ''Grand finale''.Excellent balance between keyboards and guitars follow the flute-driven intro in a depressing movement, also including pessimistic violin tunes, but the result is absolutely wonderful.

To call this better than Pythagoras' debut is propably excessive, sure thing is ''After the silence'' is certainly a nice little pearl of Electronic/Symphonic Rock with an old-fasioned, irritating style.Warmly recommended.

Report this review (#1025324)
Posted Thursday, August 29, 2013 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Pythagoras sophomore LP after the quite promising debut "Journey Through The Vast Unknown" (1980) was released from a major recording company, (the first one was an independent release. This time René de Haan decided to have more than just drummer Bob de Jong to help him out with After The Silence; in fact he had several musicians with "real" instruments to play his new compositions, like guitar, bass, violin and flute. Among the people who played the guitarist was a very young Arjen Lucassen (of Ayeron fame and several other side projects nowadays), who took a little time from his band Bodine to record his firs professional session.

The results are quite interesting, helped by the better production. The sound is still basically a mixture of electronic with a more "classic" prog rock vein. a bit like early Pink Floyd. In fact, After The Silence is far more conventional sounding than their debut, although the electronic element is very much the basis of most of the tunes. The violin and guitar solos gave Pythagoras music more variety and colors, but the music in general here ended up being more tentative than convincing to my ears. The songwriting here seems to be still a little green, but they were in the right direction as far as I can tell. Still, some parts are very good and it´s obvious that the project had a lot of potential. It´s really a shame they did not record a follow up. And, considering the time it was put out, it is really a feat they did even managed to have a major recording company backing it.

Listening today, I feel this CD to be really pleasant and interesting, Nothing to write home about, but good anyway. If you like electronic music mixed with traditional rock instruments you should try this one. Tangerine Dream did it better, but this one has its merits.

Rating: 3 stars.

Report this review (#1688536)
Posted Friday, February 3, 2017 | Review Permalink

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