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Neo-Prog • Hungary

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East biography
EAST is one of the most beloved prog acts from Hungary (if not the most). While the rest of the world was into New Wave, MARILLION carried the prog torch for Great Britain and points west. Guitarist János VARGA, keyboardist Géza PÁLVÖlGYI, singer Miklós ZARECZKY, bassist Péter MÓCZÁN and percussionist István KIRÁLY decided to pick up the prog banner for Eastern Europe.

In 1981, they released their debut album "Játékok." The English translation is games. Oddly, they did release an English version, but it was titled "Blue Paradise." It was a well-received debut, and is still highly regarded. However, it is the sophomore effort, 1982's "Hüség" (Faith), that seems to capture more hearts.

The first two albums were more symphonic inspired, but they felt the need (or perhaps pressure) to pursue a more mainstream approach. This led to replacing lead singer Miklós ZARECZKY, with József TISZA on "Rések a Falon" (Cracks in the Wall). While the third album is not the darling of prog fans, it was a great commercial success. The next outing, 1984's "Az Áldozat (Szodoma)" (The Victim (Sodom)) saw them dumping vocals altogether. It is completely instrumental, and has been described as a rock ballet. This could also be considered the last true EAST studio album. There was a four-year gap until "A Szerelem Sivataga" (The Desert of Love) came to be, and everyone except Péter MÓCZÁN had left the ranks. It is also interesting that this album enlisted the biggest lineup (eight in all) to bear the name EAST.

I wish I could have done a better job with this one, but most of the information about this band is in Hungarian. Being a typical American, English is the only language I speak.

H.T. Riekels (bhikkhu)

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EAST discography

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

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

3.48 | 47 ratings
3.78 | 58 ratings
3.11 | 18 ratings
Rések a Falon
3.72 | 23 ratings
Az Áldozat (Szodoma)
2.29 | 8 ratings
2.31 | 13 ratings
A Szerelem Sivataga
1.71 | 8 ratings
Taking The Wheel
3.29 | 7 ratings
Radio babel

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

3.14 | 12 ratings
Két arc
3.86 | 7 ratings
Csepel felett az ég

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

4.25 | 4 ratings
Messze a felhőkkel
5.00 | 1 ratings

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

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

4.00 | 1 ratings
A valóság hangjai/Szirének

EAST Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Taking The Wheel by EAST album cover Studio Album, 1992
1.71 | 8 ratings

Taking The Wheel
East Neo-Prog

Review by BORA

1 stars "Parachuting my love to you"...? 'Nuff said?

This is the absolute pits for a once promising Prog band. They fell between two chairs after disowning their Prog roots and then repeatedly producing below Pop "refuse".

Oh, I am counting my words as I am to get up to at least 100 in order to get beyond just rating this band, but to warn unsuspecting Prog fans to avoid this album at any costs.

OK, so far about 73 words. Phew! No, don't get me wrong, I haven't just recently lost my marbles (it was a long time ago, LOL!), it's just I can't think of anything more to say about this disaster of a release. Perhaps one of the worst albums listed on PA.

EAST have done some credible works before on "Huseg" and "Sodom", but here they have let all their friends down. Big time.

 Hüség by EAST album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.78 | 58 ratings

East Neo-Prog

Review by BORA

4 stars This band started out as a very credible, largely improvising, instrumental Symphonic-Prog outfit. By the time they managed to have recording contracts (still behind the Iron Curtain) their music had become severely compromised. Not for commercial advantage, but if only they were seen as an influential underground group that had to be "tamed" by the authorities.

Tamed all-right, their essence was largely relinquished, retaining only elements of their former delivery. This album "Huseg" translates as "Loyalty contains remnants of the earlier years. Reasonably good with vocals that are not "bad", only "excess to requirement", the instrumental bits command due attention.

Special mention is due to Geza PALVOLGYI (keyboards) , who has become a darling of the Hungarian rock scene contributing to a miriad of different projects, some are more noteworthy than others.

EAST had a revolving door to great Hungarian musicians, but their recorded material with the band rarely did justice to the talents involved.

Founding member Janos VARGA (guitar) still helps to lift this album to some more credibility, but if you wanted to hear them at their best, you'd want to check out the first release by the JANOS VARGA PROJECT.

In comparison with most of their other works, I feel compelled to rate this one a 4. Without the forced vocals it would be closer to 4.5.

BTW, this band is sitting here rather erroneously as Neo-Prog, a genre that they don't belong with. Someone please take note.


 Két arc by EAST album cover Live, 1995
3.14 | 12 ratings

Két arc
East Neo-Prog

Review by BORA

2 stars East came into existence in the second half of the 70s as an improvising trio playing in small clubs. Their approach to performing extended instrumental works was clearly influenced by the hugely popular Polish band SBB. Contrary to their popularity and loyal fan base, there is no recorded material of that era as the authorities (the country was still under Soviet occupation then) were wary of any "underground" appeal.

"Bread and butter" issues saw the band undertake a Pop-Rock approach following almost constant line-up changes. Only then were they able to start recording, by which time the music bore no resemblance to the original Eclectic-Prog style.

The following years saw a number of talented musicians come and go, contributing to an increasingly mediocre material on offer and their involvement didn't really lift the game to any convincing extent.

To brand this live album as Neo-Prog is rather generous. Even Crossover would be borderline. This remarkably bland and boring music may have some appeal to the "uninitiated", but in Prog terms it's a non-event. Not strong enough even for commercial appeal and too weak to be considered as quality Rock by any measure. One foot here, one foot there and the end result is falling in between two chairs.

The vocals are somewhat disturbing and indeed rather embarrassing, representing the weakest part in the performance. Frankly, the "voice" is just not there and singing in key alone is not sufficient to provide much satisfaction. Only the female back-up singers offer a degree of relief in places, but that's hardly what Prog is about. Odd instrumental passages, guitar fills are few and far between and whilst can be pleasant, they are not the dominant aspect of the works on offer.

I wouldn't recommend this album to anyone expecting quality music in any genre.

 Hüség by EAST album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.78 | 58 ratings

East Neo-Prog

Review by Joăo Paulo

4 stars A very beautiful album from this Hungarian band. One of the rare good work from 80 decade. A spacey parts but strong music composition made a beautiful effect in one of best albuns of this band. We can listen some keiboards and guitars duets with some very good solos. If they try made a comercial album, precisely the opposite is happened. They made a complex music album composition with a singer with a nothing special voice but really effective. We can listen some sintetiser efects but not interfere with the quality of composition, despite the use of the sounds of the eighties for keyboards. All the tracks don't have much time, 5,56 minutes the two more long but they made a beautiful album that i like very much. To me, a good adiction in East Progressive Music collectors. I give 4 stars
 Hüség by EAST album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.78 | 58 ratings

East Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Despite Progressive Rock's decline East were determined to revive the sound, at least at the early stages of their career, as their label even released an English version of ''Jatekok'' entitled ''Games'' in an attempt to hit the foreign market.Moreover the band spent no time aiming to a sophomore release and the follow up release saw the light just a year later under the title ''Huseg''.

Stylistically the style of the Hungarians did not change a bit.''Huseg'' is again a mix of grandiose, spacey Symphonic Rock with Fusion, nicely balanced between the two styles, although the more Fusion-esque tracks are not that conveincing.Janos Varga's star shines again throughout the release and Istvan Nemeth keyboard work remains distinct but still pretty atmospheric.Most of the tracks have this ELOY/ANYONE'S DAUGHTER/PINK FLOYD/KAIPA combination of Space and Symphonic Rock with quite powerful guitar lines and superb synth/organ passages, often accompanied by haunting choirs, and this is the style East definitely performed very well.The other side of East, as aforementioned, explored a more Fusion style of playing, with keyboards and interplays in the forefront.The music is fast, rich and often adventurous, but it suffers (as most of the 80's Fusion efforts) from a slick and plastic sound, which additionally hurts the album's consistency.However even these tracks have some good keyboard runs and guitar solos to offer.

If you liked ''Jatekok'', ''Huseg'' will not dissapoint you.Divided into low-tempo symphonic soundscapes and more upbeat Fusion explorations, this album has plenty to offer.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

 1986 by EAST album cover Studio Album, 1986
2.29 | 8 ratings

East Neo-Prog

Review by fluiddruid

2 stars After the fine instrumenal album " Áldozat", East changed the directory again. The sound of album is typical eighties: drum computers, ugly digital synthesizers ( Yamaha DX7). Guitarist, János Varga preferred the guitar synthesizer instead of the guitar. If you like for example, IQ's Nomanzo, Wedge from Pallas or Invisible Touch, this album is yours, if you don't, stay away. First track "Kiáltás" very, (solo) Peter Gabrielish with apocalyptic lyrics about the Cold War. Some song are a bit irritating, especially " Aranyöböl kapuja" , "Krizis" and "A történet végtelen". The latter is a bad carbon copy of Hearts from the 90125. Best track is the jazzy instrumental "Ballet", Peter Moczan plays in manner of Pastorius. Other songs would be decent, but the bad drum sound ruins everything.
 Az Áldozat (Szodoma) by EAST album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.72 | 23 ratings

Az Áldozat (Szodoma)
East Neo-Prog

Review by Joăo Paulo

4 stars Nice album of this Hungarian band. One of the most finest bands of East Europe with a powerfull sound. This album have a great percussion and drums work and is not necessary some drums solos for we see how good is the stuff. Very spacey with a strong keiboards that made a powerfull context in music and some guitar parts that we can remember some Floydian sounds. I like this work that are very balanced, and the instrumental part made all universe of Szodoma. 5 tracks when the first and the last , (Szodoma and Pustulás) the more extensive, made some Psychedelic Space Rock and I think that this work is not Neo Prog in most of this parts. Excelente adiction in East Europe collection and one of the best works of this band. I give 4 stars.
 A Szerelem Sivataga by EAST album cover Studio Album, 1988
2.31 | 13 ratings

A Szerelem Sivataga
East Neo-Prog

Review by progrules
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I'm a bit confused with this band because of the popularity it had with it's most famous album Huseq. I have this album myself and will review it soon but wasn't really thrilled with it. Most of our prog reviewers were however looking at their reviews and ratings so I begin to wonder what I'm missing when I listen to this band.

East is a Hungarian neo progressive band with their heyday in the eighties.The music is actually quite simple but the band has some mollifying aspects that could be the trick here. They sing in their native language, sound pretty timid and the production quality is a bit modest to say the least. And maybe also the fact that in the eighties the usual production quality wasn't exactly high in most cases and let's not forget on top of that Hungary was still communistic when most of their albums were released and didn't have as much contact with western music as nowadays.

Anyway, despite this all, if I have to give my opinion about what I hear it's hard for me to become enthusiastic. I usually don't give extra points for reasons as mentioned above. I give my judgement about what I hear and that's it. And East just doesn't do it for me. Like I said, the music is simple, there are no highlights where songs or instrumental ingenuity are concerned. The most interesting aspect I could discover was some nice percussion in some of the songs. But if that is all I'm afraid the rating will have to be limited here. 2 stars.

 Rések a Falon by EAST album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.11 | 18 ratings

Rések a Falon
East Neo-Prog

Review by fluiddruid

3 stars After the wonderful album "Hűség", East moved away from the symphonic rock toward the eigthies, new wave-is sounding art rock, a'la Rush's Signal album. They did this from their own decision. New singer, József Tisza came in the band, his voice was similar like old singer. The opening "Rések a falon ~ Cracks in the wall" is very catchy pop song with serious lyrics about the orwellian paranoia, what the people felt in the communism behind the iron curtain. "Az idegen ~ The stranger" is sad, nostalgic song about a man, who got back locale of the childhood. This is little old East sounding with short, but good guitar solo. "Mintha mégis ~ As if" average pop- rock song. "Száguldj velem ~ Race with me" almost started like Tom Sawyer, vocal shared Péter Móczan and József Tisza. An istrumental number, "Különvonaton ~ Private train" closes the first side of the vinyl. "Földközelben ~ Flying low" is a simple radio friendly new wave song. The next one, "Brainwash" is electronic new wave rock, with vocoder. "Az utolsó éjszaka ~ The last night" is the best song,here we can hear near resemblance to the old East sound. "Az óra jár ~ The clock is running" is very energetic number with great synth solo in the middle. The last "Tánc a parázson ~ Dancing on members"is an instrumental too. The band tried to balance between the old good progressive rock and the modern aor-ish, new wave-ish music, but it didn't succeed perfectly. The music sounds rather dated, but the words become in our days more actual.
 Hüség by EAST album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.78 | 58 ratings

East Neo-Prog

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

4 stars Due to the fact that the Eastern Europe regimens were not very fond with Rock which was seen as an expression of Capitalism, Prog didn't reached Hungary exactly at the same time than in the rest of Europe, so during the 80's when the rest of the world saw Progressive Rock as an archaic sub-genre and surrendered to Synth Pop, bands as EAST played solid Neo Prog very close to the Symphonic of the pioneers but with extra elements that made it richer than ever before.

"Hüség" (Faith) starts with the self titled song that starts with a nice jazzy feeling that reminds me a bit of Jean Luc Ponty but with a preeminent Symphonic component, the keyboard sections by Géza Pálvölgyi are very entertaining and blend perfectly with the electric guitar that gives an extra touch of hard Rock, interesting opener.

"Keresd Onmagad" (Search Yourself) begins extremely dramatic with a strong organ intro that leads to a vocal section in Hungarian that without loosing the dark atmosphere, softens a bit the mood, again some guitar solos add a nice touch.

"Magikus Ero" (Magical Power) follows the path of the previous track with strong and mysterious organ, but soon morphs into a faster track with lush keyboards and frantic guitars, a nice change that shows the ban has versatility and the ability to move radically from one style to another, extremely dramatic.

"En Voltam...." (It was Me) places us before a new change of atmosphere, more oriented towards the sound of ALAN PARSONS PROJECT (Pyramid softer tracks), even though is a simpler track, keeps the interest of the Progressive Rock fan due to the excellent organ and Mellotron solos, another good song.

"A Végtelen tér Oröme" (The Happiness of Endless Space) is a short instrumental interlude that works as an intro for "Üjjászületés" (Born Again) which privileges the Melodic Folk side of the band, with a beautiful melody that only changes near the end with another excellent organ and Mellotron based passage.

"Ablakok" (Windows) shows a fourth face of the band, now they get closer to some sort of Space Rock with heavy atmospheres diluted a bit with the vocals that sound a bit out of place, an atmosphere that is kept in "Vesztesek" (Losers), this time with a much better performance of "Miklós Zareczky" in the lead vocals and a surprising guitar solo by János Varga in the style of David Gilmour.

"Felhókón Sétálva" (Walking on the Clouds) as it name indicates is another spacey song, which starts soft with a nice piano buts gets faster and stronger as it advances, on the other hand "Varni Kell" (You must Wait) is an exquisite Symphonic track with good piano performance and strong vocals supported by the whole bands that makes an outstanding job.

"Hüség" ends with "Merenges" (Meditation), a short melancholic song that fades gently with the album.

Even though some demanding Prog fans may find it too soft, I believe we are before an excellent album recorded when the genre was agonizing in the rest of the world impulses the development of Progressive Rock in a region that was giving the first steps towards Rock (Even when in some Eastern countries Prog had developed before than in others).

Bein accurate, I would rate "Hüség", with 3.5 stars but being impossible, will have to go with a higher rating of 4, because is clearly over the average.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates

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