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Omega - Éjszakai Országút [Ω III] CD (album) cover

ÉJSZAKAI ORSZÁGÚT [Ω III]

Omega

Psychedelic/Space Rock


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3 stars This is one of the coolest psychedelic albums with many sixties influences being heard from the Doors to Hendrix as well as Omega`s own traditionally influenced compositions. If Omega had been singing in English and didn`t have to contend with political restrictions which were in effect back in the sixties in communist ruled Eastern Europe they would have definitely made a mark on the western charts way before 1973 when they began recording in English on the West German label Bacilus Records. Although they had briefly played various gigs in England including the Marqee Club and released a partial album in 1968 on the Decca label it wasn`t until 1969/70 that they really started making their mark with the albums 10,000 Lepes ( 10,000 Steps ) and Edszakai orzogut ( On the Road at Night) which both went gold in their native land. The material on On the Road at Night is a very interesting combination of some very trippy pshychedelia as well as some romantic ballads which seem to draw from their Hungarian folk roots and not unlike songs that were being produced by contemporary western bands in the late sixties.

One of the more striking tracks and of interest to fans of early prog is the final track, " Veszkarijat" ( Emergency Exit ) with a Bach like Hammond intro which detonates into fiery Emersonistic riffing. Other tracks even have early Krautrock tinges to them . Other non-standard rock instruments are also employed such as the flute, trumpet and violin and are used to great effect, though the flute playing is a lot more spacey than Ian Anderson`s hysterics. There is some really cool trumpet riffing on what is definitely the heaviest track, "A hol boldogsagot osztottak!" ( When Happiness Was Handed Out ) which also has some Jimmy Page sounding guitar freaking out.

On the mellower side, the title track is sung passionately by Janos Kobor which is about a drifter where "Van egy szo" ( There is a Word ) is a very melodic organ led piece which seems to be about someone searching for his/her fate with some nice acoustic guitar accompaniment throughout. Very meloncholic.

Anyone who is into sixties pshychedelia, Jefferson Airplane, Hendrix, The Animals, The Doors etc. should definitely check out this classic Omega work. English translations for the lyrics for this hippie Hungarian album can be found on Omega`s official website www.omega.hu. The 1992 re-master is highly recommended.

Report this review (#116173)
Posted Friday, March 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The third Hungarian album is more developed than its predecessor and it is in my opinion the best one featuring this line-up with Gabor Presser (soon to leave and form Lokomotiv GT). Particularly the first half of the record is full of energetic heavy prog rock with acid spices - guitar riffs, stomping rhythm section and nice Hammond organ backing. It is enough to hear first three perfectly played heavy songs so to check what year was this? 1970? OMEGA was actually quite contemporary with this sound! BLACK SABBATH just started while DEEP PURPLE just now turned heavy! Occassionally one can hear flute, piano and harmonica, but the overall sound is extremely heavy, in the best tradition of early British hard rock in the vein of URIAH HEEP.

"Az éjszakai országúton" and "Az Utcán, a térem" are the peak of the album, containing some healthy dose of symphonic arrangements and keyboards. These two tracks would usually be present in later compilations. By the end of the album, musical structure disintegrates a bit, having last 2-3 tracks with unnecessary psychedelic experiments, which together with decent but totally out of place blues number "Oh, Barbarella" prevents this album from being perfectly produced LP.

Still, "Éjszakai Országút" is highly recommended early heavy prog album from the turn of the decade, and surely one of the best non-English East-European albums of this era, pre-dating famous first Yugoslav prog rock albums of Drago Mlinarec, TIME or KORNI GRUPA.

PERSONAL RATING: 4/5

P.A. RATING: 4/5

Report this review (#154250)
Posted Wednesday, December 5, 2007 | Review Permalink

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