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progVisions

progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

album reviews

album review

Yesterdays - Senki Madara - 2018



    

“... a musical experiment ...”
In November 2011 progVisions did a review of the second Yesterdays album “Colours Caffe” (2010). A good album with a light progressive atmosphere. The music was described as a good mix of pop, classical and jazz with some progressive influences. Now, eight years later, the progressive rock project led by Bogáti-Bokor Ákos comes with a brand new Symphonic Rock album. The 3rd studio album of the in Carei, Romania based band has the title “Senki Madara”. The new album features Hungarian folk songs with vintage progressive rock arrangements. “Senki Madara” is a musical experiment, a fusion of progressive rock of the seventies and traditional Hungarian folk music. The songs comes from a few hundred years ago. A base of inspiration are also the works of the Hungarian Classical composers Zoltan Kodaly and Bela Bartok. Composers who made many traditional folk songs eternal by collecting them from authentic and clean sources and used them as an inspiration for their Symphonic and choral works. This project was realized with the support of the local council of the municipal town of Carei (Romania).
Semeniuc Stephanie - lead & backing vocals; Bogáti-Bokor Ákos - guitar, bass, fretless bass, Mellotron, Hammond organ, piano, Moog, vocals; Enyedi Zsolt - piano, Hammond organ, Moog, Roland & Yamaha synthesizers; Féher Róbert Benjamin - guitars, vocals; Kecskeméti Gábor - flute; Kósa Dávid - percussion & backing vocals; Szücs József - drums

Special guests:
Bogáti-Bokor Orsolya - violin & viola
Márton-Sipos Dóra - cello
Szirtes Edina Mókus - lead vocals (5,10)
Tarsoly Csenge - lead vocals (6) & backing vocals 
The album opens with the song “Agrol-Agra” (“From One Branch to the Other”). A lovely song in a Symphonic Rock tradition with great synthesizer, Mellotron, guitar and flute melodies. The vocal parts provide the folk ingredient. The musical style is in overall Symphonic and the name of the band You and I (that other Hungarian progressive rock project in which Ákos was involved)  crossed my mind. “Rejtsetek El” (“Hide Me”) is more influenced by folk and classical music. In the first part we can hear a lot of acoustic instruments (flute, guitars) and the real strings (violin, viola,cello) are providing the classical element. Later on this is mixed with some progressive influences and vocal layers that reminds me of Yes. Listening to “Szivarvany Havasan” (“On the Heights Of the Rainbow”) I also had to think about Yes. This has to do with the sounds of the keyboards and synthesizers. The fusion of the these elements with the folk (vocal) melodies are working very well. Also the flute has an important role on this album. In “Elmehetsz” (“You May Leave”) you can find a beautiful flute melody next to the steel guitar sound (Steve Howe) that is used. The lead vocals in “Ne Mondo El” (“Don’t Tell”) are sung by guest Szirtes Edina Mokus instead of vocalist Semeniuc Stephanie which by the way does a wonderful job on this album. The use of several vocalist are increasing the diversity of the music even more. Each voice is  bringing other colors to the vocal palette. “Hajnalcsillag” (“Morning Star”) is sung by guest Tarsoly Csenge. In this song you can find a wonderful guitar solo that is accompanied by fretless bass and warm Mellotron strings. The vocal melodies in this song are wonderful. A song of great diversity and delicate use of instruments. “Szomju Madarak” (“Thirsty Birds”) is with more than six minutes one of the longer songs. A song with delicate keyboard and guitar work that gives the music a kind of jazzy atmosphere. In the second part of this song the music becomes more powerful. But in overall the music on this album is on the mellow side of the progressive rock spectrum. This is followed by the beautiful short song “Eso” (“Rain”). This little gem is placed before “Nap” (“Sun”) a song with a great mix of folk melodies, jazz (fusion) and progressive rock elements. There are a lot of keyboards on this album, but nowhere you will find freaky solo’s, carefully the broad sound spectrum of these instruments is used. Only in the last part of this song the tension is rising and the bass part could be a tribute to the late Chris Squire. This wonderful album closes with the song “Ugy Bocsass El” (“Let Us Go”). It opens with delicate acoustic guitar and a flute melody before guest singer Tarsoly Csenge sings the vocal part with here characteristic voice. Accompanied by beautiful flute and string parts. A worthy ending of of a remarkable album.
Well this album is something special. The musical experiment to compose a fusion of progressive rock of the seventies and traditional Hungarian folk music has worked very well. It has brought us a remarkable album full of beautiful melodies played by a bunch of talented musicians with great musical craftsmanship. A superb use of all the different instruments, acoustic and electric. Beautiful harmonies and arrangements that place the music in the first place. It is not about soloing musicians ... it is all about the music. It is a wonderful album without weak points. The best Yesterdays album so far. Bogáti-Bokor Ákos did a wonderful job to integrate traditional Hungarian folk songs into his own music that has strong influences of the progressive rock of the seventies. Open your mind and enjoy the music!
Douwe Fledderus - November 2018
rating - Independent Release

 

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