After Crying - Struggle for life - 2000

"Similarly to the best so called prog bands (ELP, King Crimson, Yes; we never wanted to be progressive. It's only a term, and not a very apt one because of its rather misty meaning. The only benefit in being labelled, as a prog band is the fact that those very few present-day musicians we really esteem are mentioned in this category too. Of course, it is obvious for us that Keith Emerson, Robert Fripp, John Wetton and the few other really significant artists always want to make impressive, intelligent, and important music, and never care if it's progressive or not, if it fits in any label or not. So do we. We want to make contemporary music and we feel that the "progressive" box is often too narrow for that. It is when progression means the following of a fashion even if it's some kind of counter-fashion against the commercial and popular ones. We care only the word we want to transmit and the complex impact of our music on the people who listen to it without prejudice and preconceptions. We feel that the totality of each composition is more than the sum of it’s components such as virtuosity, intricate rhythms, sophisticated chord changes, breathtaking solos, and fantastic sound, because we profess that without that integral synthesis all these efforts are meaningless"

After Crying about After Crying


The Hungarian band was founded in 1986 but their first album, "Overground music", was released in 1990. "Megalázottak és megszomorítottak" (The insulted and injured), their second and most symphonic album was published in 1992, and "Föld és ég" (Earth and sky) two years later. In this period, the band performed many-many exciting and special shows with different formations from an acoustic quartet to a 15 member ensemble or a guitar based rock band. It seemed rather obvious for almost everyone that if Vedres quit, After Crying is finished. Still, when he did quit in 1994, that particular thing happened, which is implied in the name of the band. After a crying, after a deep crisis the band resurrected, indeed, they got higher than ever before.


In 1996 After Crying achieved the biggest success at the first Hungarian Progressive Festival playing among such outstanding performers as Peter Hammill, Ritual. Their fourth album "De Profundis", the first one without Vedres, was the CD of the Month in November of 1997 at Cranium Music. In August of 1997 they gave a memorable gig at the West End Festival in Budapest, where they performed the immortal King Crimson hit, "Starless", together with the original singer, John Wetton. Similarly, After Crying was the biggest surprise of ProgLive in Corbigny in August of 1998, and BajaProg in Mexicali in March of 1999. After Crying got the best-band-in-1998 title from the experts of Highland magazine. They made a great success last July at Castello Festival in Italy playing among such famous bands as Jethro Tull, Porcupine Tree, and Banco. While the line-up often changed from the beginning to the very present, the most determinant persons have always been there. However, the band considers its current membership as the consequence of a crystallisation, which finally produced the innermost core of After Crying. So the line-up for the After Crying who recorded this double live CD is as follows: Egervári Gábor - flute, live sound, words & ideas, narration; Görgényi Tamás - art director, conception, lyrics Lengyel Zoltán - piano, syntheziser; Légrádi Gábor - lead vocal; Madai Zsolt - drums, percussion, syntheziser; Pejtsik Péter - cello, bass, violin, lead & backing vocals, compositions; Torma Ferenc - guitar, keyboards, vocals, compositions; and Winkler Balázs - trumpets, piano, synthesizer, bird, compositions


On "Struggle for life" we can find a compilation of '99 live recordings and a '97 recording of "Starless" (King Crimson) featuring John Wetton and recorded in Budapest. The CD opens after an intro with "Viaduct" - (5:15) from their album "6". It is an up-tempo piece with some Emerson Lake & Palmer influences. So this is a nice sympho opener. After that one of the (many) highlights of the album "Stalker" - (12:32) from "De Profundis". In my opinion one of the most beautiful pieces they ever wrote. The title comes from an Andrei Tarkovsky film. In the song there is a recording of a József Attila poem spoken by the Hungarian actor Latinovits Zoltán. The Hungarian poet and the Hungarian actor both died tragically under misterious circumstances at the same railroad track. The sad melody combined with the poem in this piece gives me the shivers. In the end (after some King Crimson like guitar pieces) you can hear the train on the tracks. For further details I would like to mention the interview with Görgényi Tamás in our interview section. "Sleepin' Chaplin" - (3:17) is a slow piece with beautiful melodies on flute, trumpet, cello guitar and synth string. Then a classical piano piece "Little Train" - (2:23). Next is "Surburban Night" - (3:36) which opens with the allways sad but beautiful sound of the cello combined with a trumpet solo. This piece we know of "De profundis" and "Almost pure instrumental" and show us the classical spirit of After Crying. "To black…" - (1:35) comes from their debut "Overground Music" and is very classical and forms a bridge to "Intermezzo" - (2:33) where Pejtsik Péter also plays the violin. Another favourite of mine is "Pilgrims' March" - (5:09) with a great melodic guitar solo. Again some classical acrobatics in "Sonata for Violoncello and Piano" - (3:47). The musical craftsmanship of all the musicians is one of a very high level. The piano piece "Burlesque" - (3:07) can be used for a Charly Chaplin movie.

After that "To black…" evolves into an improvisation "ImproVision" - (5:21). There are a lot of themes in this piece. Only the very big bands, like King Crimson, have the musical skills to do an improvisation on stage. In "Goblin Dance" - (5:16) from their marvelous album "De Profundis" we here great piano and cello work. If you could only buy one studio album of After Crying this would be my choice. "European Things" with the subtitle "Hommage to Frank Zappa" - (8:46) is one of the view songs with vocals. It is most of the time up-tempo and has all kind of European influences. The English translations of the lyrics are been published for the first time, and are in the detailed booklet that accompanies the CD. The last track of the first CD is an '97 recording of the King Crimson classic "Starless" and special guest John Wetton himself is playing the bass and is doing the vocals. It is a very accurate cover, and it is still a great song, which slowly builds up to a great climax. There is even a saxophone solo in the end. "Starless" is one of the favourite songs of John Wetton. I was lucky to meet this great musician once in a local radioshow and he told me that the album "Red" was his favourite King Crimson album and that he loved to play "Starless".

The second CD opens with an excerpt of "Fun Fair Land Opening" - (1:25). A fast opener which goes allmost seamless into "Judas" - (9:16) from their third CD. There are a lot of vocals and trumpet in this track, but also some fine guitar pieces. In the end the trumpet and the guitar has vicious duals. Then the tempo slows down with "Windblown Waltz" - (3:13). Beautiful melodies on trumpet, flute, organ and cello. Now it is time for another highlight, the title track "Struggle for life" - (8:23) a sympho piece which slowly builds up with a lot of synths and guitar. After three minutes we hear the poem "With a pure heart" and after some acoustic strings the piece devellopes again into heavy sympho with fat guitar and keyboards. The finale of this piece is "Big evil fun fair finale" - (2:06). Then there is the previously unreleased "Crash and Cry" - (5:30). Great guitar work ala King Crimson. The piece is one long guitar solo, which in the end is accompanied by threatning keyboards. I like it very much. "Stonehenge" - (4:35) is the great cello solo from "De Profundis" played by Pejtsik Peter. This guy is really freaking out on his instrument.

The intro of "Conclusion" has a melodic vocal line. And soon we hear what this piece is all about (subtitle is "A tribute to Keith Emerson"). Delicious keyboards like Emerson Lake & Palmer. After a while the piece slows down and sounds more classical with Emerson like piano work. The great vocal line returns and after some cello the piece goes again into fat sympho with some organ in the end. This is indeed one big tribute to Emerson. ELP lovers will be falling in love with this track. And it is not over yet. We go further with "Arrival of the Manticore II" - (5:20). I don't have to tell you how it sounds. But with the vocals it has the After Crying spirit. "Confess your beauty" from the first album is also woven into this piece. And the music doesn't stop. It goes on and on. First the "Cello-Guitar Duet" - (2:24) then the "Piano solo" - (1:33), a great "Drum Solo" - (3:46) and the "Trumpet Solo" - (1:19) All the musicians are showing their skills one by one before the "Manticore" - (1:50) arrives again. "Conclusion" ends with the "Finale" - (3:08) from the album "6". In total the "Conclusion" counts 30 minutes! After listening to this long track I was speechless. I just wanted to hear it again.


This band can bring their fantastic music on stage too. You can here After Crying enjoys playing live. And if you get the chance to see them performing on stage, you know what to do. All the musicians have great skills on their instruments, and are playing music, which comes straight out of their hearts. This double CD is essential for all the After Crying fans in the world. And for people who don't know the band; this is an opportunity to get a nice overview of their work. The CD's are packed with music and information of the band. On the second CD there is a 19,3 MB data track with all the information you need. And the songs "Shadow song" - (5:52) "Radio Rarotonga" - (4:36) and "Don't betray me" - (3:01) which didn't fit on the CD's are compressed into MP3 format and were included as well.

author - date - rating - label

Douwe Fledderus - April 2000 -   - Periferic Records