After Crying - Show

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Periferic Records / Stereo KFT
Catalog Number: BGCD 101
Format: CD
Total Time: 72:09:00

After a myriad of compilation albums and live recordings, Hungary's finest is back with a brand new studio album. Don't be mislead by the album's title as Show is not the live recording of a "show" but a selection of newly composed studio tracks. Looking at the band's lineup, indeed a few changes have been made, not in the least introducing a brand new lead singer. His first lines are: "a new world's coming and the old one's gone," which could of course refer to the fact that the "vintage" After Crying sound is no longer and has been replaced by a new, more modern sound in order to attract a wider audience. With all the material written by Pejtsik and Winkler, let's hope for the best so that After Crying remains indeed After Crying.

The opening track is rather different to anything we've heard before, but then again the orchestration is very powerful, almost reminding us of "Spartacus? whilst Batky Zoltan's voice is accompanied by the female soprano voice of Andrejszki Judit. For sure this is a different After Crying sound, but still incorporating Winkler's distinctive trumpet and Pejtsik's immortal cello. As always the recording is crystal clear thus giving plenty of opportunity to hear the detail. Based on the Arthur Brown caption "there's only one way out, go bathe yourself in fire!?, "Invisible Legion" contains a fair amount of orchestral interventions, which could be outtakes from a filmscore. Towards the end some itimate classical cello is added to create a dreamy atmosphere. Throughout this fine album all arrangements will be first class and will often get close to the kind of arrangements you'd come across in a classical setting. The balance between loud passages and intimate settings will also be finely tuned so that you don't get an immense contrast. Also by introducing long instrumental sections and female guest vocals, one does not get overwhelmed by newcomer Batky Zoltan. "Welcome On Board" even gets Katona Zsofia as guest lead singer whilst interesting synth sounds back Madai Zsolt's reliable rhythm. One of the many highlights certainly has to be the Pejtsik composition "Paradise Lost," which of course is built around the mighty cello. What is rather new is the inclusion of rhythm machines which change the face of the vintage After Crying sound towards a more contemporary feel, often flirting with rap and hiphop! Luckily this only lasts for a brief period of time as the main emphasis lies on the band's combination of prog, jazz and avantgarde. "Media Overdose" is a news message from Radio Technopolis which refers to other songs such as "Invisble Legion" and "Bone Squad," thus turning Show into kind of a concept album. "Technopolis" takes us through the installation process of putting a computer programme on your system and then restarting the computer in order to reveal a much quicker and vital musical result. Quite an inventive feature!

In between the rhythmic nature of some of the songs comes the short intimate tribute to Béla Bartok as written and played by Winkler Balazs on grand piano only. Some fans might find it difficult that the band often introduces elements which are not typical After Crying. Take "Wanna Be A Member" where the band's previous singer adds a couple of verses of authentic rap! However everything is nicely compensated due to the inclusion of the epic "Secret Service," which contains tons of elements to even please the more demanding prog fan.

Again the orchestral programming is of the highest quality nicely contrasting with the sparse interventions of the electric guitar. Part two switches to an acoustic setting, which even flirts with medieval atmospheres also including an excerpt from Ravel's "Bolero." The sound of the grand piano simply is outstanding and proves that the personnel of After Crying consists of top musicians with a lot of understanding for music whether it's composing, arranging or recording. Once again Ravel's "Bolero" theme is incorporated, but this time steering the song into a more avant-garde direction with sounds coming from all sides. By adding both "Bolero" elements as well as a snippet of King Crimson's "Danger Money," the band perfectly illustrates their superb skills in combining original work with already existing material. "Farewell" is kind of a combination between folky material and contemporary rhythms resulting in After Crying meets Massive Attack, if you know what I mean. I quite like the melodic synth parts as well as the electronic tabla which puts the spice into the song. The album closes with "Life Must Go On," an uptempo composition driven by synths and brass which once again carries elements from various sources before it erupts like a true musical volcano.

I'll be very honest with you in telling you I am a BIG After Crying fan, liking virtually everything they do but this time around it took me a while to really get into their music. Show is different to everything they did before, emphasizing a much more contemporary sound; however, they do so without losing track of their past. So yes it still is After Crying but its Hungary's finest definately rooted in the 21st century. The result is intriguing material which demands more than one spin but with this quality CD in your player you'd be more than happy to do so.

NWC (4:30) / Invisible Legion (9:37) / Face To Face (2:34) / Welcome On Board (3:51) / Paradise Lost (2:54) / Remote Control (9:04) / Technopolis (7:54) / Globevillage At Night (1:30) / Bone Squad (2:58) / Wanna Be A Member ? (4:27) / Secret Service (15:24) / Farewell (2:50) / Life Must Go On (4:29)

Zoltán Bátky - lead and backing vocals
Gábor Eg´rvari - lyrics, narration
Tamas Görgényi - artistic director, lyrics
Zoltán Lengyel - Steinway grand piano, Korg Trinity ProX, backing vocals
G´bor Légrádi - narration (6, 7, 10, 11)
Zsolt Madai - drums, percussion
Péter Pejtsik - cello, bass
Ferenc Torma - guitar, synthesizer
Balázs Winkler - trumpet, synthesizer, piano


Judit Andrejszki - lead and backing vocals (1, 4)
Zsófia Katona - lead (10) and backing (1, 10) vocals
Kristof Fogolyan - flute
Pál Makovecz - trombone
Viktor Dániel Nagy - trombone
Réthi Zsombor - trombone
Monika Szabo - flute
László Préda - trumpet
László Borsódy - trumpet
Vilmos Horvath - bassoon
György Reé - clarinet
Zsófia Winkler - viola
Sándor Endrödy - horn
Dezsö Czentár - horn
Peter Soós - horn
Balázs Pernecky - horn
Gábor Kollman - sax

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: August 24th 2004
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 1435
Language: english


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