After Crying - Live-Struggle For Life

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Stereo KFT
Catalog Number: BG CD 050 and BG CD 054
Format: CD
Total Time: 149:25:00

I have said this many times before and I will keep on saying this: After Crying is THE BEST BAND IN THE WORLD! They are a bunch of very accomplished musicians who seem to have the unique talent to blend rock, jazz and classical elements into one smoking pot of pure progressive delight!

Whilst their latest output Almost Pure Instrumental was sort of a compilation augmented with four unreleased tracks, we have to go back as far as 1996 to find some live recordings on the double Els? ?vtized. Today the hard-working After Crying have released a double album, and a single album containing the highlights of the 2CD set, all in one go. Of course the real fan should get his hands on the double set where we are also treated to a multimedia segment. There are also three MP3 files included, one of which contains brand-new material. On the single album, two of these tracks don't feature as MP3 but as real songs so for those of you who don't have a computer (so how come you're reading this?) you have to get the double set plus the single one. Nice marketing strategy! Both issues however boast the 31:32 long "Conclusion" and also "Starless" recorded in 1997 with none other than John Wetton.

The sound quality is, as could be expected, "top notch." Listen to the superb "Stalker" with some outstanding guitar playing in the intro and as always that eerie sounding trumpet. Also, the string sections are programmed in such a way that it's as if you're listening to a real orchestra, in exactly the same way The Enid programs their synths. In fact, one just wishes to one day see this band together with a real orchestra. A musical orgasm for sure! On the double set you will find material from all of the band's albums except for Megalazottak ?s Megszomoritottak.

Divine piano in "Sleepin' Chaplin," wonderful trumpet during "To Black - Excerpt I" and "Intermezzo," with some classical intervention by Peter Pejtsik on cello. "European Things - Hommage ? Frank Zappa" comes with Hungarian singing here and not with the English lyrics that we witnessed during the band's recent European tour. As compensation, the English lyrics are printed in the booklet. During John Wetton's Hungarian tour in 1997 he was backed After Crying, because without any doubt John was looking for the best musicians around. The proof that he found them is here in the form of "Starless," which evolves from the well-known version into some free-jazz before getting back on the right track again. A version even Wetton and Fripp would be proud to hear!

Disc two opens with the big band sound of "Fun Fair Land Opening." The mix of the fragile "Windblown Waltz" is once again superb what with the subtle keyboards on one side, the trumpet on the other side and Peter's cello in between. "Crash And Cry" is a brand-new song with some outstanding Fripp-like guitar from Torma Ferenc throughout ending in almost pure chaos. Whilst "Conclusion," subtitled "A Tribute To Keith Emerson," clocks in at 10'45" on the original album 6, live it exceeds half an hour, what with including several solos in order to put the various band members in the well deserved spotlight. These include a cello-guitar duet, a piano solo sounding almost like "Flight Of The Bumble Bee" in a jazz setting, a very unique drum solo, and a trumpet solo all integrated into this "Hommage To The Manticore," which also integrates "Arrival of the Manticore" from the band's Fold E?s ?g album.

The MP3 files on the double CD set include a superb live version of "Shadow Song" featuring some wonderful flute playing, laid-back singing, jazzy piano, gypsy cello and again that Chuck Mangione-like trumpet. The live rendition of "Don't Betray Me" is the one we appreciate best but it's especially the brand-new "Radio Rarotonga" which gets all of our attention. "Radio Rarotonga" tells the story of a lighthouse in Polynesia where the inhabitant only sees one mailship a month. Let's say the music is more of a background for the story so it's not really representative for the band. The multimedia section also holds reviews, photographs, lyrics, etc...

This is by no means an "easy" album and I'm convinced that people not familiar with After Crying but anxious to hear some of the band's music will not have an easy task going through both discs here. However, once you have succeeded getting yourself through all these songs you will be hooked like you've never been hooked before.

Disc One: / Viaduct (5:15) / Stalker (12:32) / Sleepin' Chaplin (3:17) / Little Train (2:23) / Suburban Night (3:36) / To Black Excerpt I (1:35) / Intermezzo (2:33) / Pilgrim's March (5:09) / Sonata For Violincello And Piano (3:47) / Burlesque (3:07) / To Black Excerpt II (5:05) / Goblin Dance (5:16) / Hommage ? Frank Zappa (8:46) / Starless (Featuring John Wetton) (11:35)

Disc Two: Fun Fair Land Opening (1:25) / Judas (9:16) / Windblown Waltz (3:13) / Struggle For Life (8:23) / Fun Fair Finale (2:06) / Crash And Cry (5:30) / Stonehenge (4:35) / CONCLUSION (31:32) : Conclusion (10:32) / Arrival Of Manticore II/1 (5:20) / Confess Your Beauty Cello-Guitar Duet (2:24) / Piano Solo (1:33) / Drum Solo (3:46) / Trumpet Solo (1:19) / Arrival Of Manticore II/2 (1:50) / Conclusion-Finale (3:08)

Disc Two Also Boasts A Data Track Of 19.3 MB Including Pictures, Lyrics, Memories, Reviews And Three MP3 Tracks : Don't Betray Me (3:01) / Radio Rarotonga (4:36) / Shadow Song (5:52)

Gábor Egervari - flute, narration
Tamas Görgenyi- art director, concept, lyrics
Zoltán Lengyel - piano, synthesizer
Gábor Légradi- vocals
Zsolt Madai - drums, percussion, synthesizer
Péter Pejtsik - cello, bass, violin, vocals
Ferenc Torma - guitar, keyboards, vocals
Balázs Winkler - trumpets, piano, synthesizer, bird

Opus 1 (1989/2009)
1989 (1989/2009)
Overground Music (1990)
Megalázottak És Megszomorítottak (The Insulted and Injured) (1992)
Föld És Ég (Earth And Sky) (1994)
De Profundis (1996)
Elsõ Évtized (The First Decade) (1996)
After Crying 6 (1997)
Almost Pure Instrumental (1998)
Live - Struggle For Life (essential) (1CD) (2000)
Live - Struggle For Life> (2CD) (2000)
Bootleg Symphony (2001)
Show (2003)

Live (DVD) (2007)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin HU

Added: February 1st 2000
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 1326
Language: english


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