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YESTERDAYS

Symphonic Prog • Romania


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Yesterdays picture
Yesterdays biography
About six months ago, I heard YESTERDAYS for the first time, and was really impressed with the exquisite combination of 70's Symphonic influences with Hungarian folk elements, so after I asked the team, the addition was approved immediately.

Due to the problems with the language and lack of information, I asked the band to provide a biography for PA and have received it today, so with no further introduction, here it is:


: : : Iván Melgar Morey, PERU : : :

General Information

YESTERDAYS is a contemporary progressive rock band composed of seven musicians and belonging to the Hungarian minority of Western Romania. This Transylvanian band plays a complex blend of several styles: a basically classic symphonic Prog is redefined here with some jazzy, folk and atmospheric touches - all of these played with a youthful energy, inner light and sunny mood. Lyrics are in both English and Hungarian, and along with the fine instrumental passages they simply find the pathway to any old-school Prog-fan with an open heart and mind.

History

First conceived in 1997, Yesterdays is a lifelong product of the youthful talent of Bogáti-Bokor Ákos. This gifted, multi-instrumentalist, composer and studio wizard is the main driving force behind Yesterdays' starship. Stepping through the many constellations of the band, and working with several musicians, Bogáti-Bokor Ákos has developed his art to the highest standards, combining the classic Steve Howe-Trevor Rabin-Pat Metheny School of guitar playing with an inspired originality. In the early years Yesterdays released some very limited edition, self-produced works. These documents from that first era are now quite difficult-to-find, collectors' items! Years 2005-2006 brought a substantial increase in the band's sound potential, and the line-up and gear proved to be just right to make a jump-start into its next creative stage. Leader Bogáti-Bokor Ákos laid down the basics of the definitive debut album, signing all the music and most of the lyrics as composer-poet-arranger. The result was a work with a spiritual concept, a deep journey into the "Moonlit Garden", the land of an impossible love, the dream of the parts to be made whole, of the paradox of being present and being absent at the same time. And, as has been proving normal in their history, strong faith and steady work has put the band well into the Light. Miracles began to happen! Strengthened with Ákos' friend, E...
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Yesterdays official website

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YESTERDAYS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

YESTERDAYS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.65 | 40 ratings
Holdfénykert
2006
3.52 | 18 ratings
Colours Caffé
2011

YESTERDAYS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

YESTERDAYS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

YESTERDAYS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

YESTERDAYS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.31 | 4 ratings
Winter
2012
4.46 | 6 ratings
Almost Like Love
2012

YESTERDAYS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Colours Caffé by YESTERDAYS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.52 | 18 ratings

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Colours Caffé
Yesterdays Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

2 stars YESTERDAYS latest album is a little different from the debut in that the vocals are now all in Hungarian and as others have mentioned this record is even more sugary (happy) than the debut. For me this is a step down from the debut and I wasn't exactly thrilled with that one either.

"Jatek" is uptempo with a beat and synths standing out. Vocals join in as well. Not a fan. "Forog A Tanc" is another energetic track although the tempo does shift back and forth. Some clapping and sampled mellotron too. The guitar is prominant late to end it. "Ejszaka" is the first of a three part suite called "Namafilm Szvit". This is mellow to start as reserved vocals join in. Tasteful guitar and synths replace the vocals as the beat continues. Vocals return after 4 1/2 minutes and the flute comes in late. "Nemafilm" is the second part and almost 10 minutes long. It's mid-paced with vocals but it does pick up as contrasts continue. Guitar and mellotron 3 minutes in. Flute and mellotron 6 1/2 minutes in as it continues to play out with vocals coming and going. "Melyrepules" ends the suite with vocals, guitar and a beat leading the way. Not a fan.

"Tukor" has strummed guitar, flute and a beat as the vocals join in. Yikes ! Not good at all. "Babu" starts out with guitar, synths and a beat as vocals and flute join in. "Flautoccata" is a short piece with flute throughout. "Megpihensz" opens with acoustic guitar as a beat and reserved vocals join in. Piano too. "Preludium Egy Esohoz" is my favourite because we get no vocals and lots of atmosphere with guest trumpet. It sounds nothing like the others. "Zapor" ends it as we get contrasts between the mellow and fuller sections and there is a hidden track as well.

Considering the debut was a low 3 stars for me, I have to give it the fans only rating. Just not the kind of music I enjoy at all.

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 Holdfénykert by YESTERDAYS album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.65 | 40 ratings

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Holdfénykert
Yesterdays Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars YESTERDAYS is apparently made up of ethnic Hungarians who live in Romania. The female vocals are in both English and Hungarian. The music itself is what i'd describe as light and sweet. Probably because of the female vocals and airy flute that dominates the sound much of the time. There is mellotron but it's sampled, still it does help me enjoy this more than I would have otherwise.

I'm going to use the English song titles provided. "Sunlit Garden" is a short opening track with strummed guitar, flute and a beat leading the way. We get some mellotron as well. "Infinite" has picked guitar as reserved vocals join in. It picks up with a beat. Mellotron before 1 1/2 minutes followed by flute. Vocal melodies late. "Don't Be Scared" opens with intricate sounds and atmosphere. It starts to pick up after 2 minutes with flute. Reserved vocals a minute later. Mellotron before 5 minutes. "If Ever" is a short piece with acoustic guitar melodies throughout. "It's So Divine" has strummed guitar as vocals, a beat and flute join in. Mellotron after 1 1/2 minutes.

"Where Are You ?" is mellow with Hungarian vocals. Mellotron and flute also help out. "Just Stay" has fragile vocals, mellotron and a beat. Flute after 2 minutes and then synths lead from before 3 1/2 minutes to 5 minutes in. "Moonlit Garden" is a short instrumental. "Seven" is uptempo with synths leading then vocals after 2 minutes. Mellotron comes and goes. A calm before 6 minutes as male vocals come in. It picks up as female vocals return. "Somehwere In Space" opens with a beat as piano comes in. It builds until vocals arrive around 2 minutes as it settles back some.

Pleasant and well done for sure but this isn't the style of music I enjoy that much.

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 Almost Like Love by YESTERDAYS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2012
4.46 | 6 ratings

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Almost Like Love
Yesterdays Symphonic Prog

Review by Katusnya

4 stars A nice and short single from Yesterdays. According to their website they tried to reach out for not only prog audiences, but - through gaining radio air time - more people. I must say that it was a good strategy, I've heard Almost Like Love in my local radio station one day and this is how I found out about this release.

Like their Winter EP, this was too an artist's edition and available only as digital download. But enough about the circumstances, let's jump on the music.

Almost Like Love is the title single, it sounds and feels like a Supertramp/ELO type hit for me. The instrumentation is very keyboard-centric, it's a nice mix of clavinet and harpsichord in the verse and Yamaha CP under the riff. The melody lines ar very catchy and Bilatiu Raluca's voice was a nice choice from the band, it's powerful, shiny and a perfect fit to this music. After a few listens, you'll find yourself singing along. The song sounds very refreshing, and it's good to hear a prog band in the radio. If you are into the bands mentioned above and Neal Morse's first two - song based - solo records, than you'll love this.

The second song, 'Torn Apart' is the remixed version of Zapor (from their Colours Caffe album) this time in English, for me it's a bit too Marillion-like, but if you haven't imagined Marillion with a female voice, this song can be a nice journey for you.

Since both songs are very catchy, I really hope that this single will gain more air time for the band. Melodic music to enjoy in cars, on long trips or when you are in a more light-prog mood. Four solid stars for this one. Recommended.

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 Colours Caffé by YESTERDAYS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.52 | 18 ratings

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Colours Caffé
Yesterdays Symphonic Prog

Review by Epignosis
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

4 stars Good luck staying in a rotten mood after hearing this. Yesterdays was kind enough to send me a copy of Colours Caffé in exchange for a few words. I have listened to this many mornings on the way to work, and it has never failed to lift my spirits, and I have no idea what that European lady is singing. She has a lovely voice (and a face to match if I may be so bold!). This band has an incredible sense of melody and stylish instrumental breaks. I love the keyboardists' choice of tones. Yes' Fly From Here (and becoming a teacher again) brought me out of a three-year funk; Yesterdays' Colours Caffé has helped keep me up there.

"Játék" One of the happiest introductions to an album ever, this peppy song has a Starcastle likeness with quirky synthesizers, punchy bass, and a beautiful voice that drifts in and out.

"Forog a tánc" The catchiest song on the album is this one; I was cheerfully singing it after hearing it once. It bursts in, early Echolyn style with a happy eccentricity, bouncy instrumentation and handclaps to top it off. The flute flutters over heavier guitar lines. The unbridled guitar solo and drumming remind me of IZZ- a good thing, surely.

"Námafilm Szvit I. Éjszaka" The jovial nature of the music takes a break, allowing the band to explore murkier moods. Yet the music still retains a danceable groove and sultry, captivating vocals. Synthesizer and electric guitar trade off leads over an increasing pace. The melody of the refrain is as brilliant as the whistling synthesizer that follows it.

"Némafilm Szvit II. Némafilm" Springy piano begins this second section. The vocals are more restrained, but as lovely as ever. The guitarist does wonderful things with the wah pedal. The middle passage is quiet piano and Mellotron that eases in like a lullaby.

"Némafilm Szvit III. Mélyrepülés" The third part of this piece is an incredible pop rock track that has a most appealing chorus. The drums become quite energetic toward the end.

"Tükör" This merry little tune is centered around acoustic guitar, flute and jovial singing.

"Bábu" Gritty guitar paves the way for a warbling tone. The song becomes jazzy, with a thin 1960s organ sound and dancing flute. At the end, the guitarist shows off some jazz runs.

"Flautoccata" A thick synthesizer booms in, providing a foundation for the woodwinds.

"Megpihensz" Combing Eastern elements with those appealing vocals, this terse track features sparse piano and serene washes of guitar and keyboards.

"Prelúdium egy esőhöz" This next ephemeral work has a moody guitar and a crying trumpet- think 1950s Miles Davis with a clean-picking Adrian Belew. It is one of the most satisfying parts of the album, and I am sad that it wasn't explored further.

"Zápor" That clean electric guitar remains, and the singer delivers an emotional performance. I think this is a good song, but it is not as memorable as what has come before. It does have a fun guitar solo though. I am generally not a fan of long periods of silence to introduce a "hidden track" (still looking at you, Mastodon). After about two minutes of silence, there is an acoustic guitar and flute duet before one final gorgeous vocal performance.

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 Almost Like Love by YESTERDAYS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2012
4.46 | 6 ratings

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Almost Like Love
Yesterdays Symphonic Prog

Review by Stargirl79

5 stars This single CD took me by surprise. First of all we got to know Yesterdays as a symphonic prog band and here they took a trip down to a seventies pop road.

There are two songs on this single CD, the first is Almost Like Love. Although the song reminded me of Abba, it's not so far away from prog. The instrumentation is quite sophisticated and clever. Harpsichord is mixed with Yamaha CP (loved by Tony Banks of Genesis or Geoff Downes of Yes) and also some vintage Elka Strings Machine and the mighty Clavichord. This kind of pop-prog can be familiar for all those prog fans who liked Spock's Beard's Snow album, especially the song Wind At My Back, the drumming of József Szűcs reminds me of the tricks and clever simplicity of Nick D'Virgilio in that particular song. Very catchy melodies all over, vocals dubbed by the band's new lead singer Raluca Bilatiu. Raluca shines through and thanks to the doubling techniques she sounds like the two Abba girls. And this is high a compliment.

The credits shows that the harpsichords were played by the band's flute virtuoso, Gábor Kecskeméti. Very authentic and groovy. The bass, played by Zoltán Kolumbán also reminded me of Spock's Beard's Wind At My Back. The guitar solo sounds vintage, nice rotary speaker sound and also some Brian May-like overdubbing in three voices. High Queen influences on Ákos Bogáti's playing.

After all, with all these pop influences, Almost Like Love is a nice progressive-pop song.

The "B-side" of the disc is a song from their last album, "Colours Caffé", the last song called Zápor, and here's the long awaited English version as a powerful remix too, sounds so much better than the original version on the C.C. album. Raluca's voice is so colourful and looks like the band started to use more vocal overdubbing techniques, so the whole thing is more dynamic and shiny.

This Single CD can be recommended for all those prog fans who love the Hogarth-era Marillion and Neal Morse era Spock's Beard. Very song-oriented, melodic prog. Recommended!

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 Holdfénykert by YESTERDAYS album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.65 | 40 ratings

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Holdfénykert
Yesterdays Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Yesterdays are based in Cluj Napoca, Romania and were formed in 2000 by Hungarian singer/guitarist Bogati-Bokor Akos, founding member also of Tabula Smaragdina and part of the last You and I line-up.With the disbanding of the later in 2005, Akos focused on writing material for Yesterdays, where the sound would link the vintage Progressive Rock sound with the modern technologic stylings.Helped mainly by keyboardist Enyedi Zsolt, female singer Janosi Kinga and drummer Csergo Domokos along with session musicians, ''Holdfenykert'' was released in 2006 by Hungarian label Rockszerviz, to be reissued just two years later by Musea.

Mission accomplished for Mr. Akos, as ''Holdfenykert'' carries all the aspects of both old and new prog generations in an album that combines Symphonic Rock with Folk along with some Pop sensibilities.The band sounds insanely similar to Italians CONQUEROR or even SPOCK'S BEARD both on the soft and more stronger parts with an evident tendency towards melodic Prog, headed by ethereal female vocals and harmonic pieces.A very clear and professional production and a dreamy voice is mixed with dominant flute parts and a fair dose of Mellotron sounds to come up with an effort respecting the masters of the 70's but also stepping on the present years.Keyboards parts seem to be the most interesting part of the album, from the use of the mighty Mellotron to the brilliant synths solos on the longer compositions.Akos, being the main composer of the band, managed to blend equally more folky acoustic parts with strong and more symphonic cuts, but overall the sound has a very calm and positive aura.

The Hungarian version of Fabio Zuffanti?Not as prolific or talented as the Italian mastermind, but definitely Mr. Akos seems to be a very creative musician with plenty of interesting ideas.Yesterdays' ''Holdfenykert'' is a good proof.Mellow Symphonic/Folk Rock with decent quality.Recommended.

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 Colours Caffé by YESTERDAYS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.52 | 18 ratings

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Colours Caffé
Yesterdays Symphonic Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

4 stars About two years ago I was very impressed by a song from the Colossus Project's "Dante's Inferno" and up to few days ago it was the only thing that I knew of Yesterdays apart the few info on their bio on PA.

After getting in touch with the band on the forum I have now a digital copy of their new album including the bonus disc included in the Japanese release and both are better than I could have expected.

Reading other's reviews, they are compared to CAMEL and YES and...the opener has effectively a bit of Camel of the Sinclair's period but Linda Horvath's voice is nicer than Latimer's and was also one of the thing which impressed me from Dante's song. Another band that I like very much is AFTER CRYING and this means that I find the Hungarian language very good with symphonic prog. "Jatek" (Play) is a very good song.

"Forog a tánc " (Spin the Dance) has also a bit of YES in the frequent changes of signature and in the choirs even not featuring very high pitched vocals (Jon sings in falsetto, Linda in her natural tones). The band shows an excellent musicianship and the song is very good also as composition. Unfortunately I can't say anything about the lyrics. I use google to translate the tracks titles. This song has a quite chaotic final of mainly drums and guitar.

A good thing is that I can see the influence of CAMEL and YES but only after a more careful listen. My first impression of the album was just "very good". But being a fan of both those classic bands it's clear that Yesterday's music touches the right strings in my ears.

The album proceeds with "Námafilm Szvit " (Movie Suite) that's split into three separated tracks. The first is very melodic with a very good instrumental part on which guitar and keyboards pick up the lead role as in the best LATIMER/BARDENS moments. Add the very good vocals, even the background ones, and this is honestly one of the best new things that I have listened to in the last 12 months, at list in the symphonic subgenre. A very good flute solo closes the first part of the suite. The second part is relaxing and melodic. If it wasn't for the rhythm guitar in the chorus it could even be newage. A song full of warmth in the vocals and in the guitar riff in the central part of the song. Then the guitar fades out leaving room to the flute and the lead vocals, with a piano in the background. It introduces another slow and dreamy section. To be listened with headphones on. A sudden end and the third part begins with congas and string keyboard. The guitar reminds a bit to GILMOUR. The melody, specially in the chorus, is easy. Fans of MOSTLY AUTUMN will surely like it.

"Tükör" (Mirror) is opened by guitar harmonics, then flute and 12 strings (or a mandolin?). Closer to AFTER CRYING but with hints of CARAVAN...and effectively after a sudden stop the wah-wah guitar first, then a flute solo backed by organ sends the listener in a land full of grey and pink. A fantastic song in light Canterbury style, this is what I mean. Very jazzy in the instrumental parts, this is "Bŕbu" (Dummy), one of the many album's highlihts.

"Flautoccata", as the title says, is a Toccata for Flute. But after the long intro Linda starts singing and I think to Renaissance and Mostly Autumn but also Curved Air. Another great moment of symphonic prog.

" Prelúdium egy esőhöz" (Prelude to Rain) is a short piece of trumpet and guitar. It has made me remember the Mark ISHAM's masterpiece "Tibet".

Finally "Zápor! (Showers) as consequence of the prelude to rain...Another melodic and a bit radio-friendly song with a very nice guitar solo, very good as closer. So good that it includes a hidden track: "Kčrdčs" (Ask). A short song of accordion, voice and flute.

Is that all? No! There's a bonus cd that's very different. It starts with "Seven" that 's a song originally on the debut album. I don't have it so I can't compare this version with the original. It may be the same version, too. This song can be compared with the YES of the period of Going For The One but with the flute picking up part of the keyboard duties. This song has English lyrics and a very good instrumental second part. It's followed by two versions of "Hol Vagy" (Where are you?) that has a slow samba rhtyhm. A very relaxing song The second version is just an alternative final. However the classical guitar parts make me think to Phil SHEERAN, another artist that I like.

"Cherrypie" is on the same line. Linda's voice sounds perfect here. Her voice on this song reminds to Eliza Gilkyson on VOLLENWEIDER's Eolian Minstrel. It's a slow samba-fusion song.

Back to prog with "33(Paradiso)". This song has the strong melody and the Supertramp-like piano and tempo that are typical of the last KAYAK. A very good song indeed. "Way Back Home" starts with funky guitar. Here I think is Akos who sings (very good voice, too). A very 70s song with an American flavor, like in the old WISHBONE ASH, even if here there's one guitar only.

"Don't Be Afraid" opens with celtic harp. I immediately thought to CLANNAD, but just few seconds after the samba rhythm and the flute bring me back to 1970 with CARAVAN's "If I could do...", but with Linda's voice adding colour to the grey. A clear remind to CLOSE TO THE EDGE played by the flute is remarkable.

The bonus CD is closed by an alternative version of Bŕbu.

So how to rate it? I'm sorry that we don't have the possibility to rate 4.5 stars. It's very close to be a masterpiece and it's surely an album that will take a lot of time before leaving my playlist. So I'm giving 4 stars but I'm not very generous. The good that Dante's Inferno had let me glimpse was just a little hint of what this band can do. Strong melodies, very good arrangements and a great musicianship. What more can we ask for?

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 Colours Caffé by YESTERDAYS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.52 | 18 ratings

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Colours Caffé
Yesterdays Symphonic Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Colours Caffé' - Yesterdays (7/10)

In the hopes of receiving some international attention for their music, Romanian proggers Yesterdays sent out their music to reviewers around the world. As you would not have guessed; I was one fortunate enough to receive one of their albums at my doorstep. Barring their enigmatic metal scene, I cannot say I am too familiar with the music of Romania, and Eastern Europe for that matter. Regardless, I have enjoyed 'Colours Caffé' for its variety and charm. Yesterdays aren't breaking down any barriers that prog rock didn't already pummel through years ago, but they have an enthusiasm in their sound that sets 'Colours Caffé' a step above your run-of-the-mill prog record.

A minute into listening to 'Colours Caffé', a listener will have a strong idea of what the band is all about. The music is upbeat, with light synths, straightforward rhythms, and a focus on melody that's brought forth strongest by vocalist Bogáti-Bokor Ákos, a singer with a friendly and pleasant voice. To the Western listener, the most exciting element of Yesterdays may be the fact that their lyrics are in Hungarian; although I am used to hearing prog sung in English and Italian, hearing the new language is an interesting experience of its own. The phonetics of the language sung don't always seem to fit the music perfectly, but the optimistic emotions break the language barrier, despite the fact I can't understand a word being said.

If I understand correctly, Yesterdays' first album was more complex, and this is a poppier, more melodic take on their music. Although 'pop' is often an evil word when speaking of progressive rock, Yesterdays' focus on melodies over complex composition works very well. That being said, there are still some fairly adventurous elements to the music of this band. Tracks three through five make up a twenty minute 'epic' of sorts, although only the gorgeous fourth track seems to take the ambition of an epic to heart. 'Nemafilm' is the highlight of this album, although as a whole, the album gets better as it goes on. At the beginning of 'Colours Caffé', the pop elements are most pronounced, but it starts to yield to a couple of surprises along the way. By the end of the album, a listener will have heard some great flute solos, 'vocorder' vocals, and a variety of different tempos and angles from which Yesterdays approaches their music. Nothing is out-of-the-box enough to feel misplaced, but 'Colours Caffé' has enough variety to it to be consistently enjoyable.

Mixed by Ty Tabor of King's X, the production values on this album are quite high, although the way the vocals are recorded sometimes feels plain. Although the album cover implies that Yesterdays are attempting to recreate the 60's and 70's with their music, 'Colours Caffé' is not a totally 'retro' effort. The melodies sound well-planted in modern music. Yesterdays should have a bright future ahead of them if they keep developing their sound, and while I would not yet say they have a unique identity, there is more than enough talent floating around these guys to leave the opportunity wide open.

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 Winter by YESTERDAYS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2012
3.31 | 4 ratings

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Winter
Yesterdays Symphonic Prog

Review by Katusnya

3 stars This EP was available for free download as a Christmas present / Fanclub CD from the band between Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. After that it has been released as a Winter EP available only as digital download.

At the end of 2011 the first video has been filmed for the song "Bábu" from their "Colours Caffé" album. Because of the member changes, the song was re-recorded with new drummer József Szűcs. This version of the song can be heard on the official video too. A very exciting version though, with different guitar solos by Tamás Mohai (Faxni, ex-East!) and also there are some new background vocals too. A real treat for fans of Jethro Tull (thanks to the flute).

The second song is a new song. Indulok-érkezel features elegant classical guitar parts and delightful vocals by Linda Horváth. A fretless bass and the mellotrons takes us back to the "Moonlit Garden"-era Yesterdays.

My Cosmic Cover is an interesting cover version of The Flower Kings' My Cosmic Lover. Imagine if the song was written by The Beatles. The song sounds like that. You'll find Beatles citations here and there (drums from Tomorrow Never Knows, melody from Norvegian Wood, guitar sounds from Drive My Car or Ticket To Ride, piano parts from The End, etc.). A nice approach to do a cover. The second part of the song is a clear hommage to "the Cosmic Lounge", it's '60's lounge style with flute and beautiful female vocals by Karola Antal.

Várom az ünnepeket is a hungarian prog classic, a song from the band East, from their 1985 album called "A szerelem sivataga". The song features acoustic guitars, mellotron strings, fretless bass.

The last tune is a remix version of Éjszaka (Némafilm Suite I.) from Colours Caffé.

I am giving 3 stars for this short EP, I believe that not only fans and collectors would be interested in hearing this one.

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 Colours Caffé by YESTERDAYS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.52 | 18 ratings

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Colours Caffé
Yesterdays Symphonic Prog

Review by Katusnya

4 stars If their first album was compared to Camel and Yes, this second CD is more like The Beatles, Jellyfish, Supertramp, but don't get heavy with these comaprisons, it's just the mood maybe, the music is still original Eastern European thing and of course the Hungarian lyrics makes the music more unique and exotic if you like. The instrumentation is more electric, although you'll hear Penny Lane-like piano in the first song, the mellotrons are still there, hammonds and moog synths are all over the songs. Followers of Yesterdays may know that they have a new lead singer, Linda Horváth's voice is more powerful and colourful we used to hear on their debut. The lead voice is one thing, the other major difference is the use of flute. The new flute player, Gábor Kecskeméti does a great job on this album, he's a flute virtouso, in some places almost Ian Anderson-like. Talking about the differences, the bass sound is more prog on this second Yesterdays CD, Zoltán Kolumbán uses distorsions, heavy chous effects, octavers, and with these helps the band to reach a fine symphonic rock sound we used to hear from Chris Squier or Jonas Reingold of the Flower Kings.

After talking about the differences, let's talk about the music. If you're not afraid of good songwriting and you're not too much into endless symphonic instrumental intros, etc., than this CD is for you. I found strong melodies, catchy choruses with multiple vocals in each song.

"Játék" is like a nice interpretation of Penny Lane by Supertramp. It begins with a strong moog theme, a nice way to start a CD with. The chorus remindend me the richness of Yes' 90125 era vocal arrangements. The bridge part is 100% power-pop reminiscent of Jellyfish.

"Forog a tánc" continues the first song's dynamic structures with distorted hammond organ and Howe like guitar sound. Crunchy guitars, strong vocals and a powerful flute solo in the middle of the song. At the end there's a symphonic guitar solo by Tamás Mohai (ex-East) in 7/8 which leads into a crazy fusion drum solo accompanied by cold mellotron sounds.

"Éjszaka" is the first chapter of a 20 minutes long epic called "Némafilm Suite". The guitars at the beginning reminded me of Dream Theater's Pull Me Under. Interesting soundscapes, strong vocals once again. Nice "conversation" between the solo part of the synths and the guitar. The sensitive flute solo at the end leads into the epic's second chapter called "Némafilm". Wonderful female vocals by guest musician Karola Antal (of Tabula Smaragdina). Piano driven verses, multiple vocals and a Gilmour-like guitar solo in the middle of the song. The second part is something ethereal, reminiscent of the band's debut CD. This is not a suprise, it was written in the Holdfénykert era of the band in 2007. The third chapter is an electric pop song with arpeggiators, heavy distorted guitars and once again the colourful vocals of Linda Horváth! For me this third song somehow is not fitting into the concept of the whole, maybe the lyrics are the key why the band decided to "stick" this into the epic. It stands alone fine anytime.

"Tükör" starts with a clear hommage á Steve Howe (the beginning of And You And I). Strong flute work, dynamic use of 12 string acoustic guitars. This may sound like a Jethro Tull song, something like a very fast version of Life's a Long Song...

"Bábu" (puppet) is clearly a Jethro Tull inspired song, probably my favourite on this disk. I would like to hear more songs like this from Yesterdays. The instrumentation is odd: vox organs, an obscure analog synth and Fender Strats everywhere. In the middle of the song there's a combat between the flute solo and once again Tamás Mohai's jazz guitar sounds. I found this song the most powerful in Yesterdays' live performances this year. The studio version is ended just like a live version in a club, it has a "live ending".

"Flautoccatta" is a piece by the flute player, Gábor Kecskeméti. Four flutes were recorded poliphonically and they were accompanied by some Oberheimish synths and an acoustic guitar. This piece is like an introduction of the next piece called "Megpihensz", an acoustic song with emotional female vocals of Timea Stutz. The acoustic instrumentation gets whole with mellotron strings. Definitely a song from the band's earlier acoustic time.

"Zápor" can be some kind of hit song of this CD. Linda Horváth's lead vocals are powerful, yet very emotional and sensitive. The melancholic verses are followed by positive and harmonic choruses with multiple vocal parts. The song ends with a long guitar solo in the veins of Steven Rothery of Marillion, very melodical. If you are patient, you'll notice that the CD has a hidden track too...

After listening to the CD for several times I can say that Yesterdays is still the same band, regarding the moods, melancholic prog is all over, but this is not a bad thing. If you are into mood changes, catchy prog tunes with strong pop-like melodies, than this CDis your thing. Vintage symphonic progrock with powerpop taste (here and there). Even the sound is vintage, not only because the instrumentation, but the mastering. The album was mastered by Ty Tabor (of King's X, Platypus, The Jelly Jam, etc.), we all know that he is a big fan of The Beatles, it seems that in this case he adapted the Yesterdays material's final works according to his tastes.

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Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the artist addition.

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