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RANDOM AVENGER

Magyar Posse

Post Rock/Math rock


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Magyar Posse Random Avenger album cover
4.18 | 39 ratings | 5 reviews | 36% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing


1. Whirlpool of Terror and Tension (5:50)
2. Sudden Death (8:56)
3. Black Procession (2:52)
4. European Lover/Random Avenger (12:32)
5. Intercontinental Hustle (7:37)
6. One by One (3:13)
7. Popzag (7:38)

Total Time 48:40

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians


- Harri Sippola / guitars
- Mikko Rintala / guitars
- Jari Lähteinen / keyboards
- Pasi Salmi / keyboards
- Sandra Mahlamäki / violin
- Olli Joukio / drums

GUESTS:
- Noora Tommila / vocals (1,4,7)
- Ilari Autio / cello (3,7)

Releases information

CD Verdura (2006)

Thanks to Nasalspray for the addition
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  • II Kings Of Time, 2004

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MAGYAR POSSE Random Avenger ratings distribution


4.18
(39 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(36%)
36%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
31%
Good, but non-essential (14%)
14%
Collectors/fans only (14%)
14%
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)
6%

MAGYAR POSSE Random Avenger reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by chamberry
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Whoa! What happened here? This doesn't sound like the same Magyar Posse I heard in Kings of Time...

This is yet another album that bends and breaks the usual traditions post-rock (I better stop saying that) and it's no wonder it got highly praised around the net often considered one of the best post-rock albums of 2006.

Where as Kings of Time was more of a mood album with dark atmospheres and being very cinematic and powerful, Random Avenger bares no resemblance to it. For starters this album is more concrete in its sound leaving little to no space for electronic or ambient fills. The keyboards are more in front as well and sometimes reminds me a lot to TERRY RILEY or STEVE REICH's early recordings. In fact, this album blends flawlessly the rigid and cerebral minimalist music with the theatrical and emotional music of post-rock (imagine Reich's works filled with emotions and a sense of grandiosity and post-rock with the punch and discipline of minimalist composers in the 70's). This combination may look a bit weird in paper, but in the music all just seems to glue together and take shape. The guitars, violins and vocals are, as always, in top shape and perfectly blended with their sound.

The mood of the album is tense. The tittle of the first song, "Whirlpool of Terror and Tension" can be a nice representation of their sound in this album. It isn't aggressive, per se, but it isn't something that one would put before sleeping. It always keeps you in the edge of your sit from the start of the album until the very end. Luckily there are shorter songs in between the more frantic ones that softens the journey and calms your nerves while still being highly enjoyable.

While not sounding "epic" like Godspeed You! Black Emperor or Yndi Halda it can easily rival both bands in the cinematic department. The usual Magyar Posse female wordless vocals are definitely a mayor factor on this and they also give more dynamic to their music (as if their new sound wasn't enough). I really like the overall feel of the album and it wouldn't sound out of place in a post-apocalyptic themed movie or something similar. Although Kings of Time may also fit in a movie like that, Random Avenger takes a totally different direction as mentioned earlier.

I've never been good with words and honestly this album is one of the hardest albums I've tried to explain. Fans of minimalism will definitely enjoy this (I know I did) and post-rock fans will have a new toy to play with. Highly recommended.

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Send comments to chamberry (BETA) | Report this review (#118302) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, April 13, 2007

Review by Matti
COLLABORATOR Neo-Prog Team
4 stars Chamberry's sole review for this album is totally perfect. He confesses that this album is one of the hardest ones he's tried to explain, but he succeeded in it extremely well, better than I ever could. In addition to the hard-to-describe nature of the music, my knowledge in so called Post-Rock is all too limited. But I'm planning to expand it... The Finnish MAGYAR POSSE (what a strange band name) was recommended to me three years ago and so I listened to Kings of Time album back then. I remember I thought it was fine but remained quite untouched, and have now forgotten what kind of music it was exactly. Now I believe that Random Avenger will become an actively listened album (home taping) to me.

It's one of those rare albums that you wish to hear straight way again after it stops. Sort of cinematic, yes, and minimalistic and emotional - I'm only stealing words from Chamberry. Female wordless vocals and a cello enrich the sound on few tracks; the group consists of two guitarists, two keyboardists, a violinist and a drummer. The music is dynamic and tense, and yet very pleasant to ears, not anyhow disturbing even as background music. I liked it from the very beginning, but it's not the kind of easy greasy music you get bored of in short time. What else can I say? Gimme more Post-Rock, please! (P.S. The cover pictures of empty school stages and such are quite dull, but not without a certain kindred spirit with the music.)

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Send comments to Matti (BETA) | Report this review (#132401) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, August 09, 2007

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Whereas Magyar Posse's first two albums were fairly typical post-rock efforts, Random Avenger is a far more interesting prospect. The addition of Sandra Mahlamäki to the lineup on violin is a big part of this, but that's not the whole story - what really struck me listening to the album is the melodic keyboard playing of Jari Lähteinen and Pasi Salmi, which at points reminds me of the approach of some neo-prog bands. This deft expansion of the sonic palette of the band results in an extremely original sound which finds them finally standing head and shoulders above the post-rock crowd and finding their own unique voice.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#707392) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Post/Math Rock Team
5 stars Magyar Posse are a post-rock group from Finland who have yet to follow-up this amazing album. As more evidence that there is no justice in the world, this album is currently out-of- print and was never easy to find to begin with. Such a shame as this is an album that more people should hear and own. This is both the first post-rock album I have given 5 stars to and the most recent album I have given 5 stars to. Generally, no matter how great they are, a lot of the best post-rock albums still have a little bit of filler or parts that don't seem to go anywhere and add little. I do not give out any 'masterpiece' ratings until that release is a least 5 years old. Random Avenger has stood the test of time long enough to be considered a masterpiece in my opinion. Some think this band has a weird name for a Finnish group; 'Magyar' means 'Hungarian' but apparently the group named themselves after a brand of wine.

The band here changes their sound from the cinematic moodiness of Kings Of Time. Random Avenger is more rocking and symphonic while the drumming is far more important, yet also contains some Steve Reich inspired minimalism. There are two keyboardist here and the keys as well as the violin are very important to the sound. Some odd meters are used as well as wordless vocals, sometimes in harmony or a single female voice. The music is almost linked thematically due to some of the melodies in different songs being similar. Not only are the compositions excellent and well executed but the production is sympathetic to them and the whole album has a great flow to it.

The journey begins with a "Whirlwind Of Terror And Tension" which is a great opener and one of the best tracks. Very symphonic sounding with a restless, urgent vibe. The guitar here almost sounds like 1960s acid rock in places. Features some of those great harmony 'la-la' vocals you hear throughout the album. Goes into a brief GYBE style atmospheric non- music section before returning to the main theme. Nice solo singing towards the end that gets delayed/repeated before it stops. "Sudden Death" starts out in a similar way to the previous song but this is both more upbeat and dramatic sounding. Nice synth sounds in this track. I like the ascending and descending melody done on violin before the music changes and melancholic piano takes over.

The drums, guitar and violin proceed to build up to a crescendo but never actually make it there. Instead it settles down a bit and the music changes yet again to symphonic rock. The beginning melody is reprised at the end. "Black Procession" is under 3 minutes long and like "One By One" could be considered filler if listened to outside the context of the album. Some background sounds are drowned out by almost horror-movie style piano and emotional violin playing. Works as a great segue when you listen to the whole album. The centerpiece of Random Avenger is the 12 1/2 minute title track (sort of) "European Lover/Random Avenger." Opening with very classical sounding piano as if it were recorded off an old radio, more keyboards join it and then guitar picking and fast jazzy hi-hat. Then the bass comes in and the drummer hits the snare rim.

The violin sets up the main musical theme which just builds and builds gloriously from here. Ascending and descending melodies and wordless singing are all part of the fun in this song. Around 4 minutes begins a break where a mini-solo on synth and jazzy cymbal work lead to the best part: where the violin plays it's heart out as the drummer is bashing his cymbals like there is no tomorrow. The second half is more traditionally post-rock sounding yet still symphonic. Some noises on the guitar strings are joined by some guitar strums which create a melody. Vibraphone sets up the final musical theme. The rest of the track builds up in a stereotypical post-rock way but with some great sustained string-synth notes along for the ride. Ends with some accordion that sounds like it was recorded off an old radio.

"Intercontinental Hustle" has a similar vibe to the first two tracks. More great violin work here. Before 3 minutes is some interesting keyboard work and then it goes back to the main melody, already in the process of building a crescendo. The tempo picks up at the end and it almost sounds like space-rockers Ozric Tentacles or even Hawkwind. "One By One" is a 3 minute piece which features lovely acoustic guitar picking. Some background sounds and vocals. Gets spacier towards the end. Like "Black Procession" this works as a segue but would not stand on it's own. "Popzag" is the last song and true to it's name its the most poppy song here, but that is mostly because it is more upbeat and optimistic sounding than the rest of the album. More great 'la-la' vocals here. Some good guitar after 3 minutes. Great mix of Leslie-fied guitar and organ/synth at one point. In fact, the main melody/riff of the song is done on organ.

Magyar Posse was one of those bands who just got better and better with every release but unfortunately have not yet followed up Random Avenger. Maybe this album is so perfect they realize they will never top it...or even match it in terms of quality. Definitely one of the better post-rock releases of the past 10 years. This is post-rock that would appeal to fans of symphonic prog or possibly even Crossover or Neo as well. I hope this album gets released again because it deserves to be and is one of the best albums of the 2000s. Try and find a used copy or a digital version of Random Avenger because it just great, great, great. There is very little I can criticize about this, 5 stars.

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Send comments to zravkapt (BETA) | Report this review (#763026) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, June 03, 2012

Latest members reviews

4 stars For the first time listened to "Whirlpool Of Terror And Tension" , I felt like lost in both serenity and chaos. This song always reminds me two-face greek figure "Janus" as the god of gates, doors, beginnings, and endings. Chaos, namely, as the cradle of possibility, takes you in its gates. T ... (read more)

Report this review (#135176) | Posted by Tunca Arican | Tuesday, August 28, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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