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Yesterdays - Senki Madara CD (album) cover

SENKI MADARA

Yesterdays

 

Symphonic Prog

4.07 | 27 ratings

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ThomasMcGill
5 stars Hungarian prog combo YESTERDAYS is back with their 3rd album. As it was a recent discovery for me (on Bandcamp) it surprised me in a very positive way.

My first impression was also positive, such a beautiful album cover, a fragile representation of a precious musical heritage of Hungarian traditional folk music, three feathers, light and colorful. The booklet inside is black and white, artistic photos of the band members and also with lyrics and some words about the concept: they've used traditional ancient texts and melodies with good tasting symphonic progressive rock.

The music is something really new for those like me, who has trained ears in neo-prog. Of course there are obvious influences of GENESIS and YES, even GENTLE GIANT and AFTER CRYING if we are looking at the symphonic arrangements of the string quartet and cello. The virtuoso flute of Gabor Kecskemeti takes this music to the next level, his playing of bird-imitations and jazzy lines are very impressive. Lovely playing.

They call this album a humble experience, but let's be clear, they shouldn't be that humble, this music is great. I've seen someone mentioning the sound quality of this record and I agree, this is one of the best sounding records ever with all the clear and transparent dynamics. The band even made the full resolution masters available for digital downloads to give the listener the full audiophile experience.

I'm a fan of female vocals in progressive rock and of course MAGENTA and RENAISSANCE comes to mind, but imagine all this kind of music with a deeper alto voice. And with all these multiple vocal harmonies the vocal parts get richer in each song. Stephanie Semeniuc takes the lead roles in most of the songs, but the record features two guest voices also: the well known Hungarian jazz/world music singer Szirtes Edina Mokus (who plays an important role in SOLARIS' recent live concerts too) and Tarsoly Csenge who brings back positive memories with her shiny soprano voice in Hajnalcsillag (Morning Star).

Impressive compositions all over and I must say that this ancient Hungarian music concept really helped bringing this Eastern European prog jem to the next level. Outstanding!

"Senki madara" is the most pleasant surprise for me this year and I consider this highly recommended to those who are not afraid of the exotic sounding Hungarian lyrics (there's a QR code link inside the booklet that takes you to some artistic English translations). Thank you YESTERDAYS! Can't wait to discover the earlier works too!

ThomasMcGill | 5/5 |

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