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Deposed King - One Man's Grief CD (album) cover


Deposed King


Eclectic Prog

4.12 | 69 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I don't always just rely on my own reconnaissance and investigative tools but when I do need support (which is always), I head straight for that mythically wonderful place called Lazland to see if our binary spider senses are still on warp 9 when it comes to new discoveries. He whispered into my ear that Deposed King is a stunning new revelation from the land of my ancestors, a place where music still holds a firm grasp on the national psyche as Budapest in particular can boast of having a great cultural nightlife scene. Steve Hackett seems to visit, regularly hooking up with Djabe, a progressive jazz outfit of the highest pedigree. Comprised of a sterling duo of Daniel Kriffel and Dominique Kiraly, with a few guests to add colour and shade to their rather eclectic sound, combining progressive rock with jazz, electronics, space and hints of ethnic Hungarian pathos. Most of the album is instrumental and has a unique sound that is enchanting, captivating, melancholic and atmospheric. It is also quite profound, as the contrasts and intricacies are loaded with reflective genius. The gorgeous cover art certainly sets the mood the album chooses to follow, displaying a sense of mysterious magic and unbridled fantasy.

The seductive "First Light" sheds that ray of imminent sonic pleasure, with a modern electronic approach, both dreamy and mechanical that sets the stage for the rather intense "Caves", a world where within seconds the listener is embalmed in a whirlwind of sound, acerbic guitar slivers dropping like icy stalactites, while brooding piano and acoustic guitar contrasts act like stalagmites, echoing vampire synths careening off the mineral walls. As the initially soothing "Endless Hours" weaves through the earphones, medicating the mind with its warm whisper, you kind of get the feeling this is going to be an absolutely whopping experience. The contrasts are truly fascinating, sprightly, and alluring as the vocals give the whole arrangement immense personality. The electronic section is mesmerizing and hypnotic, as the pings meet the pongs with a dance-like passion, until the gentle piano sets the sun. Absolutely genius.

Keeping the mood constantly creative, the medieval tinge of "Path of Forlorn" exudes a sense of historic adventure, as if recalling the Mongol invasions of the Hungarian kingdom that began in 1241, showing off guitars, keyboards and especially a boisterous bass guitar riff that sounds eerily like a close relative of the classic "In-a gadda-davida" from Iron Butterfly. Well, that just had me galloping like a Hun on his trusted horse. Suddenly and completely unpredictably, the arrangement veers into this ultra cool lounge jazz mood , with brushed cymbals and a muted trumpet. Where is my jaw, I lost my jaw, help me?.???

Time for some meditation after such a rampage, the serene 9 minute "Half Light" swerves towards sonic experimentation, setting up a simple electronic platform first, on which the research for contemplative beauty can expand into a wholly modern approach. Every note is encrusted with passionate determination, as the underlying resonant feel remains intense while the music surges in a gentle and seductive realm. Again, this sure-handed mastery of contrasts is a rare commodity, especially for a debut release. My breath has been abducted. Delicately expressive at first, "Fading Shadows" lays down a clanging and shimmering groove with stunning guitar phrasings, a softly melancholic voice pleading for eternity as the finality of it all appears at the gates of the unknown. The anguished guitar flurry by Frigyes Samuel Racz scours the universe, desperate for an answer, any kind of resolution would soothe the fear.

A brief electro intervention on "Sirens of the Sun" features scintillating work on the synths, keys and drums, a preparation for the final two tracks that conclude this magical album. The oppressive, doom-laden and distorted "Ceasing to Exist" offers 9 minutes of unchained wrath, energetically blasting from one extreme contrast to another, only to slip back into despondence and fury. The metallic dual guitars crushingly blast through, uninhibited, only to be met with forlorn waves of majestic synths, creating a sonic landscape where beauty and beast seem to meet, as if fencing for a victory. The ornate piano motif is sadness incarnate, the infernal riff reverberating like some doomsday warning shattering the peace, as the voice ultimately conveys surrender. Powerful melancholy at its finest (Hungarians are kind of good at this).

This world class album needs, no begs, to be finalized by some sort of aural panacea, as I found myself gulping and almost in tears at the indecipherable beauty of this masterpiece, as everything about it is sheer genius. "Last Light" should be just the end of this chapter of "One Man's Grief" with an eagerly awaited re-illumination in the near future. Lazland's last line in his sterling review needs to be repeated here: "Music as philosophy. Intelligent, questing, and demanding to be heard".

5 Toppled Monarchs

tszirmay | 5/5 |


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