Reviewed by Nuno on 11 May 2004
The latest album by Hungarian best Progressive outfit After Crying is a Showdown in real progression!
While transporting their musicality to rockier venues and contemporary polirhythms, still this ingenious band keeps performing like a mini-orchestra. The loss of Vedres is long passed and the band was able to find the proper replacement. Though different in playing style, Lengyel Zoltán has such an incredible ability on keyboards that the bands brilliancy in that department was kept untouched.
OK, so Show does have a more pop/rock basis (mainly in the chanted parts), but that does not scratch the awesome final result, due to the fact that After Crying is undoubtedly one of the best Progressive bands in the last 20 years, and even if they were playing metal, trance or hip-hop (just to mark a point here), they would be the absolute best in it. This I am sure of!
After seeing them playing live, the idea that this Hungarian band is amongst the best Prog acts in history was reinforced, for they are perfectly able to transpose their studio complexity and flawless playing to stage, elevating their mix of classic with rock to a sublime playing art.
Even when a band is composed by such top players as Winkler Balázs on Trumpet and Keys, Pejtsik Péter on bass and Cello, Torma Ferenc on guitars, Lengyel Zoltán on keys, Egervári Gábor on flute, words and ideas and Madai Zsolt on drums, there may be a period of less inspirational status, which can lead to loss of focus. That is not the case with this band, for the music they keep doing maintains a pretty high level of brilliancy.
It is true I find some weaker moments in this album, mainly in the vocalized parts, where the band tends to abandon its complexity and adrenalin interplaying to focus on the message the lyrics are passing, but suddenly a new instrumental part of pure bliss transports the listener to the notion that this band easily reaches a state of grace that is difficult to express in words.
After Crying may have changed their musical standards with Show, using more contemporary rhythms and harder rockier (many times approaching King Crimson) structures, but still they were able to keep it perfectly entwined with their exquisite classical basis (just listen the Ravel’s Bolero intrusion upon a hard section in Secret Service, followed by the creation of a sensitive classical landscape, to understand what I mean). And even if this album may “shock” the usual costumers of their music at first listen, enduring playing will undoubtedly unfold, in a slow but very convincing way, the truth. And the truth is that this band keeps surprising its public, by releasing a masterpiece after another…It’s a non-stop of divine musical architecture. A proof that Progressive Rock can be modern and innovative while incorporating well entwined but deep classical passages.
Another brilliant album by one of the exponents of Progressive Rock. Different in its core only to prove that excellence can be achieved in any basic genre, if you are able to enrich it to the limits!