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Syrius Az ördög álarcosbálja (Devil's Masquerade) album cover
4.15 | 48 ratings | 5 reviews | 46% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Concerto for a Three-Strigned Violon and Five Mugs of Beer - Koncert háromhúros hegedűre és öt korsó sörre (2:38)
2. Crooked Man - Hitvány ember (6:55)
3. I've Been This Down Before - Voltam már azelőtt. (4:27)
4. Devil's Masquerade - Az ördög álarcosbálja (5:34)
5. Psychomania (5:44)
6. Observations of an Honest Man - Egy becsületes ember észrevételei (1:46)
7. In the Bosom of a Shout - Egy kiáltás méhében (8:53)

Total Time 35:57

Line-up / Musicians

- Zsolt Baronits / alto and tenor saxophone, vocals
- Miklós Orszáczky / vocals, bass, violin, acoustic guitar
- László Pataki / piano, organ
- Mihály Ráduly / alto and tenor saxophone , flute, piccolo
- András Veszelinov / drums, vocals

Releases information

LP Pepita LPX 17439

Thanks to clarke2001 for the addition
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SYRIUS Az ördög álarcosbálja (Devil's Masquerade) ratings distribution

(48 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(46%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
Good, but non-essential (12%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

SYRIUS Az ördög álarcosbálja (Devil's Masquerade) reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Guldbamsen
4 stars Canterbury-soul-Aristocats

This is a pretty special album to say the least. Hungarian beat band Syrius originally formed back in 62 and then metamorphosed with the times and the changing currents adopting a powerful melodic jazz rock approach. Even so, the time spent playing together as a band all through the 60s shows almost immediately, when you pop this mother on.

The Devil's Masquerade was actually recorded in Australia, where the band had received a record deal, which to my knowledge is why they decided to sing in English, but don't take my word for it though... Speaking of those vocals, the 60s sound is all over them, and this listener feels instantly warm and taken aback by the sheer soul and chocolate power there is to them. For lack of a better picture, then imagine a white version of Otis Redding, albeit with a slightly heftier backing band. Yeah erm - perhaps backing band is the wrong wording here, because it feels much more like a full frontal attack with heavy based organ work, tip toeing Aristocats piano, manic saxophone sprees - often recalling the more angular Canterburian work, along with a butter-churning funky rhythm section, that will have you out of breath and lying on the floor like a salmon out of water.

There's that early 70s experimental feel to it as well - especially in some of the saxophone parts here, you get sudden bursts of unbridled free-jazz inching its way through the orchestrated wilderness. Still you never loose focus - you're still infatuated by warm and vibrant melody lines, that for some reason always seem a bit hidden beneath these mad interventions - either emanating from the aforementioned sax or an altogether preposterous sounding flute. The melodies are omnipresent often delivered by the soulful piano man, who are as prone to run wildly about on organic fusioneros runs going a hundred miles an hour - or just strolling casually along to these cool jazz Aristocats' chords, that really speak to the feline in me.

It's sexy, cacophonous, soulful, funky, at times ominous - but never dull or uninspired. Jazz with its pants down so to speak... I can understand why this album only has received masterpiece ratings before my review - I really can. Most of all, because I can relate to the kind of music on offer - the way it makes me feel, the warmth and vigour it's delivered with, but mostly because it just jives, bounces, funks, rocks and bleeds all over your living room floor like some kind of welcomed vagabond. With all the twists and turns, it really should radiate more of a schooled snobbish expression, but just like Zappa did with his musical ventures - these guys are able to take it to the streets - right down in the gutter and make it infinitely more earthy and frivolous. I really like that about 'em.

One thing that has got me puzzled slightly though, is the fact that I seem to know some of these melodies beforehand. I'm not suggesting that we're talking rip-offs, no no - I actually have a pretty good listening memory, and have always been able to spot where musical themes are lifted from, if such is the case, - but here with Devil's Masquerade the music just feels like an old friend shaking hands with you - like you instantly know the shake, the bake, the whole register of emotions associated with the experience, and yet you will constantly be facing new facets within the tracks - suddenly popping up within 60s inspired soul choruses you get the odd sax toots or a complete turn around making the music shift course and then go in a completely different direction. Still feels melodic and right at home though, which is one of this album's biggest attributes: the somewhat open and welcoming atmosphere it conjures up transcribes to the music itself. Everything seems to fit whether it be the Canterbury snippets on top of the free-jazz vortex, or the musical themes with a devout soul music shadow intrusion, it's all good and I just love it!

So, do you consider yourself a fan of 70s Zappa, Canterbury, Nine Days' Wonder - or just music you can seduce your friendly neighbourhood tomcat with? Then, I swear to you on my mother's diving suit, - this Australian produced Hungarian is a safe bet. It certainly has got me dancing the bop.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars 3.5 stars. SYRIUS were a band out of Hungary who formed in 1962 and played Beat music but by 1970 or so they decided to jump on the Prog train drastically changing styles, and this is quite jazzy too. We get two sax players in this 5 piece band along with violin, flute, organ and the usual Rock instruments. They managed to get a recording contract from a label in Australia so they flew down and recorded this beast which was released in 1972. The vocals are in English and I'm not a fan of them but I do like the instrumental work although there are two songs I can hardly tolerate but man the title track and the longest tune that closes the album are both excellent.

"Concerto For A Three Stringed Violin And Five Mugs Of Beer" certainly shows these guys had a sense of humour. It opens with what sounds like acoustic violin and some piano before vocal melodies arrive after a minute followed by dissonant sax with organ and drums to follow. Then some jazzy bass with organ takes over as this plays out, flute late.

"Crooked Man" opens with sax and drums before piano and flute help out. Processed vocals before a minute sound rough as the drums support then piano, flute and sax as it sort of stutters along. Normal vocals after 1 1/2 minutes. Bass and piano lead a minute later then it's sax only before drums and vocals join in after 3 minutes. A calm before 4 minutes as it slows right down with drums and piano then sax. Organ joins in after 4 1/2 minutes then it's bass only a minute later but not for long. A detailed song at 7 minutes in length.

"I've Been Down This Road Before" is one of the two songs I don't like. Sounds like a commercial tune that's bluesy with the focus on the vocals. "Devil's Masquerade" is a top two for me. It opens with organ before the sax and drums kick in as we get such a great sound here. Vocals join in before 3 minutes and they are relaxed and sound best here. It's the chorus that really impresses me with that melancholy with vocals, sax, organ and drums.

"Psychomania" is the other tune I don't like. Man as soon as I see the title of this song it brings to mind the chorus where he shouts this word a few times. "Observations Of An Honest Man" opens with vocals and piano. Flute replaces the vocals as they stop briefly. The tempo picks up. Not a fan of this one but it's under 2 minutes.

"In The Bosom Of The Shout" opens with samples before we get an almost Free-Jazz vibe happening, not melodic at all. That changes before a minute as sax, drums and piano lead. Organ replaces the piano then the piano returns as the organ continues with sax and drums. I like the piano 2 minutes in with bass and percussion. I also like that dissonant sax before 3 1/2 minutes with bass, drums and organ. Great sound! We get both sax players playing around five minutes in then for the first time on this song we get vocals before 6 1/2 minutes. Organ and flute impress after 7 minutes as the vocals continue. Spoken words late.

Avant fans seem to favour this one although I must say this seems to get high ratings every where I looked. 3.5 stars is the perfect rating for me because while I do like it I have too many issues with it to offer up that fourth star.

Latest members reviews

5 stars For me it is one of those rare gems: truly lost/forgotten masterpiece we constantly looking for. Well, look no further. Mindblowing musicianship includes quite a lot stop/start moments and abrupt changes, which I like very much. The style is rather unique. A somewhat unlikely cross between Colosseum ... (read more)

Report this review (#2496357) | Posted by Artik | Friday, January 22, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I'm mostly reviewing Australian albums for the moment, but Syrius somehow ended up here for about a year in the early 70s, and for that short time became a very integral part of the local scene. While they were here, they recorded this album for Festival, and it's one of the best albums to come out ... (read more)

Report this review (#722312) | Posted by sl75 | Wednesday, April 11, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Syrius was formed by Zsolt Baronits in 1962, Hungary, mainly to play early beat music. The band profile changed in end of 1969. They started to play top quality progressive rock and jazz-rock fusion, when Miklos "Jackie" Orszaczky, Laszlo Pataki, Mihaly Raduly and Andras Veszelinov joined the ... (read more)

Report this review (#446167) | Posted by fluiddruid | Thursday, May 12, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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