After Crying Reviews

Also see: Baja Prog '99 ~ Townscream ~ Baja Prog 2000 ~ Kollar Attila ~ Vedres Csaba ~ NEARfest 2001 ~ Tiana 2004 

Bookmarks: F?d ? ? ~ Almost Pure Instrumental ~ "6" ~ Struggle for Life ~ Bootleg Symphony

From: Richard Stockwell richard@cranium.co.nz
After Crying: A Hungarian band who have always stated that King Crimson is their main influence. However Emerson Lake & Palmer can be heard in the early CD releases. Mega............... (real long title) and De Profundis are the peak of their output. Music that creates atmosphere and tingles up the spine. The keyboards/piano player is now in a band called Townscream who have one excellent release out. The Hungarian vocals on the After Crying releases might put some people off. However the music has long instrumental passages and the Hungarian vocals only help to enhance the whole feel about their music. Sound Samples in Real Audio from De Profundis can be heard at the Cranium website. http://www.cranium.co.nz

From: Richard Stockwell
Another keyboards player worth checking out is Vedres Csaba who played piano and keyboards in the Hungarian band After Crying. Vedres Csaba now has a band called Townscream who so far have one release called "Nagyvarosi Ikonok" (Big City Icons). You will not be disappointed in the keyboards & piano playing of this man. For all the criticism that some people level at 90's prog being too retro and not defining originality I believe some of the music coming out now is as heart stirring as any of the classics.

From: "Gamantyo Hendrantoro" <>
> I recently purchased After Crying's- Fold Es Eg from some > recommendations.Planning to go > again to Nearfest I like to have some clue about the bands.I guess it > wasn't what I expected. > Too mellow and church like for what I had hoped.JMO.
I guess there are two phases when people talk about AC's musical development. Some people, myself included, prefer the chamber sound that they developed early in their career, as observeable in their first and second albums (Overground Music and Megalazottak es Megszomoritottak). IMHO in this phase they sounded very original that I can't think of any other band I can compare them with. Starting with Fold es Eg, they moved to a more symphonic approach and began to show ELP's and Crimson's influences more explicitly with the adoption of Emersonic keyboards and Frippish electric guitar sound and playing, whereas the chamber sound still appears here and there but never takes the centre stage again. While I still like their music from this second phase, the first and (especially) the second album are my favorites over the others. So if you don't like their chamber-style music, try anything after Fold es Eg. De Profundis, their fourth album, is generally what people consider their best. Perhaps the live album, Struggle for Life, which includes a.o. an orchestrated rendition of Crimson's Starless, with Wetton guesting on vocal and bass, will also be a good introduction.

From: "Richard Stockwell"
Re: Almost Pure Instrumental
Each new release by this Hungarian band goes to cementing their name on the wall among the progressive music giants and while you will hear snippets of influence from the masters such as ELP and KING CRIMSON you will also hear total originality. This release is the first of a new series of AFTER CRYING remasters but it also includes 4 new compositions. The remastered tracks and the previous releases they were on, are : Overture (Nyitany) from "First Decade" (Elso Evitized); Big Evil Fun Fair Final (Short Version), Sleeping Chaplin, S.O.S., Struggle For Life, all from "After Crying 6". The Insulted & Injured (Megalazottak .. ), In The End (Vegul) are both from "Megalazottak es Megszomoritottak". Suburban Night (Kulvarosi ej) from "De Profundis". Rondo from "Earth & Sky" (Fold es eg), Shining from "Overground Music". The four new compositions are : Aqua, Windblown Waltz, Pilgrims' March & Sonata for Violoncello & Piano (In one movement). Over 68 minutes worth of symphonic progressive and classical delight. A Review Track by Track:
1./ Overture 2:29; Although After Crying have never mentioned American composer Aaron Copland as an influence it is certainly there in some of this Hungarian band's music. Overture features big wide cinematic music that gives you the feeling of the American plains with it's miles and miles of open territory that Copeland's music so vividly portrayed. You can also hear the same style in the now famous "Fanfare for The Common Man" which both ELP and the 1976? Olympics theme tune made famous. You remember that piece of music ? ... well that was written by Aaron Copeland.
2./Aqua 1:58; This is the first of the four new tracks that feature on this release. Very pastoral with beautiful flute and cello. You can just picture a song bird such as a thrush singing in the meadow to this track which at 1:58 is over far too quickly.
3./Big Evil Fun Fair Final 5:32; This opens again with a big classical style fanfare and then moves into dark imagery with the use of oboe, French horn, Bassoon, Trumpet, Trombone and Saxophone. Then a guitar played with feedback enters the picture and we are off on another After Crying cinematic excursion. The strength of this band lies in the fact they not only have the world's best piano & keyboard player but as a chamber orchestra and brass ensemble they are unmatched in musicianship, feel and skill.
4./Windblown Waltz 3:09; The second of the four new tracks features trumpet,keyboards,flute,cello,guitar and sounds which is the wind blowing through this track as the music goes through a pastoral setting, with a hint of celtic folk just touching the surface. By track four the flow of this album can already be felt which on many of their previous releases wasn't there as the music jumped from one style to the next.
5./Pilgrim's March 5:11; Another new track and this one is shiver up the spine stuff as the guitar, reminiscent of Court Of The Crimson King era, slides in over a shuffling drum beat that has a hint of drum 'n' bass and also aided by piano & trumpet. This track is credited to Peter Pejtsik (After Crying) and classical composer Mendelssohn. Gorgeous !
6./Sonata For Violoncello & Piano 3:35; Kronos Quartet eat your heart out. This track is just Winkler (piano) & Pejtsik (violoncello) rocking out and the two make this classical/rock piece sound like a band rather than just two players. This track is the 4th new number on this release.
7./Sleepin' Chaplin 2:38; From the album After Crying 6 this mixes pastoral style King Crimson with the Aaron Copeland "wide" sound and a little lilting folk played on flute.
8./Suburban Night 3:32; Another King Crimson style track with it's atonal guitar notes played quietly as the cello and then trumpet enter the picture to give a feel similar to "Larks Tongue In Aspic". This is another track with fantastic depth and feel.
9./The Insulted & Injured 11:40; This is the great track from the second album (Megalazottal es Megszomoritettak) which is reminiscent of ELP's "Pictures at an Exhibition" period whilst introducing the After Crying style. This track is one of two on the album that features vocals in Hungarian but the words are reproduced in English in the booklet.
10./Rondo 3:43; Piano, Synth, Bass and Drums create this ELP style track that was on the album "Fold Es Eg".
11./S.O.S. 2:35; This track is another ELP influenced track with string orchestra added.
12./Strugglr For Life 9:12; A two part track with music set to a poem called "With A Pure Heart" and from the album After Crying 6. Although the poem is read in Hungarian it is haunting and the lyrics are reproduced in English in the booklet. The second part of the track is very orchestral with all the parts reproduced on keyboards.
13./In The End 2:29; A haunting number that evolves into a flamenco style jig that only lasts a few bars before the drums play a solo with the Korg featuring quiet backing. Strange to say the least as if this piece is the end of a track .... just as the title suggests.
14./Shining 11:48; This track is from the album "Overground Music" and features a lilting female vocal with the After Crying chamber music style accompanying her on piano, cello, viola, flute, oboe, bassoon, trumpet & trombone.
If you don't own any After Crying albums this release is a very good place to start as it covers the spectrum of their releases. This is progressive music at the far end of the prog spectrum in that it is very classical and introduces a chamber orchestra style. At the same time the music has very good depth and the musicians who make up this band are very very skillful and know how to mix it up with both classical and rock styles. Although you can hear obvious influences of King Crimson, ELP and American composer Aaron Copeland in the music it is in no way mere copy cat stuff.

From: "Andrew J. Rozsa" <>
After Crying is my favorite rock group of all time. I find them brilliant.

From: "Richard Stockwell" <>
I'll second that. If this band had come out in the era of prog's rein (early 70's) they would likely be super stars by now. But at least their music hasn't been riddled by hype that hit all the other stars so I think the musicianship stays more honest to itself. After reading about the number of "dropped jaws" when they played at the last Baja Festival I'm surprised there hasn't been more talk about After Crying.

From: "Andrew J. Rozsa" <>
What a wonderful sight to see, on this quarter's Progression magazine (Spring/Summer 1999), a man playing the cello and singing his heart out. Peter Pejtsik of After Crying, of course. John "Bo Bo" Bollenberg wrote the article (pp.30-33) that I would have liked to have written. Of course, he actually got to interview the guys. Did good for my lil' ole Hungarian heart.

From: Andrew Rozsa <>
>I read on the John Wetton's site that there is a live record from After Crying, featuring him performing Starless. Was it released already or just planned? Sounds very interesting.
From http://pons.sote.hu/~bauvikt/before.html we learn that: A new double live album "Struggle for Life" will be released in the beginning of 2000. It contains more than 130 minute live material including the immortal King Crimson masterpiece "Starless". After Crying will go on tour in the Spring of 2000.  Check for dates in February. * * *  John Wetton and After Crying performing "Starless" together!

From: Andrew Rozsa <> Subject: Re: After Crying pix Some great photos from the March 19, 2000 exclusive concert at the Hungarian Consulate in New York City can be seen on the site of Gyorffy Gabriella. http://www.gimagine.com/After-Crying-web/page1.htm Quite a few of them... can't miss them if you are a fan.... clearly, Gabriella is. :-)

From: Mike De Lang <>
I just wanted to comment briefly on a few CD's that I've purchased recently. After Crying- F?d ? ?: Of the three After Crying CD's I own, This is my favorite. I like the Frippish guitar solo on it and the piano, for some reason, reminds me alot of John Tout's work on Scheherazade. Awesome!!!

From: "Marc P. Guilbert" <> Subject: After Crying in Baltimore March 18
Well, probably the easiest way to describe these guys is to say they're the rebirth of England's Enid, in the sense of being the world's smallest symphony orchestra. But while the Enid played in the grand British tradition of Elgar, say, After Crying have a distinctive eastern European sound. They also smuggle in bits of Cabaret jazz and King Crimson sonorities, so they are no one's clone band. There were 6 onstage: Gabor Legradi: vox, keyboard, Zoltan Lengyel: keyboards, Balazs Winkler: trumpet/keyboard, Zsolt Madai: drums/keyboard, PeterPejtsik: cello/bass guitar/vox, Ferenc Torma: guitar/keyboard/vox.
In addition, one of the soundboard operators (Gabor Egervari) contributed flute/vox from his perch at the rear of Orion Studios. The total mix sounded truly symphonic, at least occasionally, due to canny programming of the synths as well as the presence of cello and trumpet. The scraping of the bow across the strings was enough to put the stamp of authenticity onto the symphonic passages, making them sound organic, not synthetic. And as a bonus, the cellist (Peter) was the front man; he reminded me of none other than Derek Shulman of Gentle Giant in their prime, with the cagy grins and snide looks he gave to everyone, as well as the obvious joy he felt playing. I'm sure everyone else on stage was enjoying themselves also; Peter just exuded it the most.
They played many of the songs from their new 2 CD live set, "Struggle for Life", as well as other songs from their various albums. Some aspects of the Orion performance actually exceeded the live album, including a more focused and interesting drum solo where the drummer used the Louis Belson trick of pressing on his toms with one drumstick while hitting the toms with another to get interesting tuning variations. Unfortunately, though, John Wetton didn't join in for a rendition of King Crimson's "Starless", or "Stalker" as recorded in "Struggle". We can't have everything! Instead, we got "Cool Night" which was on Elso Evtized as "Jo Ejt!" and "A Novelty", also from Elso Evtized. And one thing left competely intact from "Struggle for Life": the final half hour long "Hommage to Keith Emerson", which rocked the house the hardest.
I understand that they were using much borrowed/leased equipment, so an equipment list won't be as meaningful as it would be normally. But FWIW, the keys player used an Alesis board for piano sounds mostly and a Korg Trinity and another Roland board. The trumpet player frequently played piano and organ parts on an Alesis board, and the guitarist used another Roland board, which the singer and drummer occasionally used as well. One of the night's many highlights was during the guitarist's solo spot, where he performed blindingly fast runs on his guitar just with his left hand hitting the strings on the fretboard while accompanying himself on the keyboard with his right hand. Bravo! And Peter Pejtsik was a joy to watch throughout the whole evening, particularly when he did his cello solo "Stonehenge" from De Profundis. He alluded to his borrowed cello (actually an electric one that was basically a stick) by saying that this was the first time that piece would be played on that instrument. I rather liked the sound Peter got from it, and I imagine it was easier for the sound crew to get it into the mix just right. Interestingly, it was the trumpet player, and not the dedicated keyboardist, who did most of the involved piano solos, frequently while playing his trumpet simultaneously!
Given the small size of the venue, the sound quality was for the most part excellent, with the volume level at the perfect level of enveloping you without deafening you. I was also impressed with the drummer's economy of motion, reminding me of Bill Bruford in that regard. Probably the most jarring aspect to the performances was the presence of Ferenc's distorted guitar sonorities on "Hommage a Frank Zappa", which works so well on Elso Evtized with solely acoustic instruments. You could count obvious mistakes on one hand, and those were greeted from smiles shared between the drummer and trumpet player.
They were going on from Maryland to New York to play at an invitation-only show at the Hungarian Embassy. Their manager expressed to me the hope that contacts there would lead to a far more extensive US tour later this year or next year. I certainly hope that comes to pass! This is one band that deserves to be seen.
If anything was missing, it was their former keyboardist Cszaba Vedres. But he was there in spirit, not to mention in 2 CD's being hawked alongside the After Crying CD's: his Townscream project and a solo piano disk called "Mesek, Levelek" which I hadn't heard of before. I've listened to some of it, and it's quite pleasant, reminiscent of Keith Emerson's original "Take a Pebble" piano solo on the ELP debut album.
And I mentioned the 5 hour drive bit because the band's manager and all the members had heard I was making that drive, and seemed impressed. I personally didn't think the drive was such a big deal, but leave it to the internet to allow stuff like this to spread to the most unlikely places. Bersides, the 10 hours alone in my car was filled with lots of great prog listening, of course, mostly Canterbury.

From: "Elliot Levy" <> Subject: Re: After Crying in Baltimore March 18
All of their albums are quite good, however I regard Overground Music's European Things (Hommage a Frank Zappa), Fold es Eg's Manticore II and 6's Conclusion as quite unique. Specially after seen them live.

From: Andrew Rozsa <> Subject: Re: After Crying: excerpt from an interview
I am not perfectly happy with the translation, but it will do. This is a specific question during an interview by Drot Magazin (Wire Magazine) in November 1999, after the Struggle for Life Tour. The entire interview in English is at: http://w3.datanet.hu/~aftercry/engsite.html  Click on the FAQ
[.........] On the progressive rock. As a matter of fact, we are a little bit ambivalent with this "progressive" thing. We are interested only in music general, but not in labels and categories. ELP and King Crimson were always and are now the real contemporary music for us, and they never labeled themselves as "progressive". They wanted to make contemporary music just as we do. What these two bands and their determinant members did, in our book are above all the other music of our time. The current progressive world is a very narrow community, everybody knows everybody in person, so it is like a family. However, it's great to belong to this family, because the "progressive" audience is the most wonderful we ever met. And almost the same goes with the magazines, journalists in prog circuits. But we want to bring our music and productions much wider scale of people. In the current progressive scene there are tons of very talented and skilled musicians, and very few good composers. We feel that in most of the cases to be progressive means trying to play as many notes per second as possible, to be very complicated and to play as long pieces as possible. The real problem is that the rock itself is dying today, just like the culture in general, and as things go now, in a few years each one of western people will have his/her own virtual bands

From: Lamia2112@aol.com Subject: Re: Lots of Progressive Music
Of the After Crying I've heard, which are the first three, "Overground Music", "Megal?ottak ? Megszomor?ottak" and "F?d ? ?", the latter is definitely the most ELP influenced, with the first two having a more somber, dark classical, chamber orchestra feel. Keyboardist and main composer on these albums is Csaba Vedres, who is a monster. The first half of "F?d ? ?" is very upbeat and ELP-esque, probably quite intentionally so, and almost functions as a tribute to the group. The second half reverts back to the chamber rock style explored on the first two albums, which works phenomenally. It's probably a great place to start exploring the group for keyboard fanatics, prior to perhaps digging back into "Megal?ottak ? Megszomor?ottak", which is IMO their masterpiece, though lacking the ELP vibe. Also worth pursuing is the AC offshoot Townscream, which was formed by Vedres after he left the group. "Nagyv?osi Ikonok" is heavily keyboard oriented, yet varied in its approach, carrying over much of the early After Crying feel. A brilliant album.
, movies, movie stars, etc., which are created by him/her, and enjoyed by exclusively him/her as well. So, if people around the world don't fight commercialism, modernism, and plutocracy, the whole civilization will die relatively soon. [........]

From: "Andrew & Jo Holborn" <> Subject: Re: new releases
Hi, I have After Crying's "6". It has parts reminiscent of King Crimson's more chaotic cacophony of sounds. There are also parts which are very beautiful, classical styled songs. If you don't like that, though, you might find "6" a bore. Other sections remind me ELP without the keyboard flourishes. Fusion influences are also present reminding me a little of Coliseum. Having said that, the band are quit unique but definitely require undistracted listening.

From: "Andrew J. Rozsa" <> Subject: Re: After Crying's "Bootleg Symphony"
Seeing a request for Finnish translation I remembered that I promised Otso a review of AC's "Bootleg Symphony ["Koncertszimf?ia"]."
I'll make this one short and sweet... I absolutely delighted myself and listened to the CD several times. My wife thought it was "copelandish," and couldn't care less. But remember, she thinks Leonora No. 3 is the greatest piece of music ever composed, so you can't really trust her judgment - and if you tell her I said so, I will deny it.
This is NOT the album to start your After Crying listening experience, since, unless you know the pieces, you may not find them particularly attractive. Almost all the tracks have been heard on previous albums, albeit, sometimes in hugely different form. The influence of folk music is there in many variations, as we expect from AC. This is modern symphonic music, with prog elements, rather than what we usually hear, which is prog based on symphonic music. Strong brass, strings, etc. frequently take the foreground, although Lengyel Zolt?'s piano, Pejtsik P?er's cello or bass, Madai Zsolt's percussions, Torma Ferenc's guitar, and Winkler Balazs' trumpet are always in strong evidence. Andrejszki Judit's vocals remind me of PLP's Magdalena. Legradi Gabor's voice it's pleasant and clear. The instrumental expertise of the players is, as always, exceptionally good.
Don't be surprised if you hear Gershwin or Oldfield styles. The dynamic range of the music is terrific: from very delicately lyrical (Track 5) to almost belligerently BIG sound (e.g. Track 9). And, of course, the humor in Track 12's "Burlesque" is well know to all. I dare you not to smile.
It helps if you understand the lyrics, but you don't need them, since the music stands on its own merit. If you are keen on translations, English translations are available at AC's site: http://www.aftercrying.hu/eng-lyr.html
This was played for an audience who expected and got modern classical music. ["bootleg" refers to the fact that this was a live stereo recording at the Liszt Ferenc Music Academy in Budapest - I think; I am going to start exporting cough suppressants to Hungary and make a fortune! :-(]
The quality of the recording is good, but the sound of the tracks is variable. Frequently the endings are not polished - they end abruptly, mainly because several tracks will make up a Part. Otherwise, the album is near studio quality.
Overall, I love the album, but then these musicians cannot do wrong by me: I like everything they did or do. Having said that, I reiterate: this is not a "starter's" album. If you have heard the music before and liked, you will have a very pleasant surprise... this is the extension of that music further into what I consider "modern classical."
If you like AC, definitely get this album. Regards to all, AndrewR
The album is in four parts and the tracks listing is as follows:
I 1.Viaduct Symphonic version / szimfonikus v?tozat
2. Struggle for Life I-II (including: Enigma) Symphonic version / szimfonikus v?tozat
3. Enigma Symphonic version / szimfonikus v?tozat
4. Struggle for Life II
II 5. Suburban Night / K?v?osi ? from Struggle for Life '
6. Cool Night / J??t from Struggle for Life '
7. Night-Red / ?szaka New release / ? kiad?
8. Cool Night (reprise)
III 9. Arrival of Manticore I / Manticore ?kez?e I Symphonic version / szimfonikus v?tozat
10. Aqua Almost Pure Instrumental '
11. Intermezzo After Crying 6 '
12. Burlesque After Crying 6 '
IV. 13. Finale (from "Big Evil Fun Fair Final") Original orchestration from After Crying 6 '
14. Shinin' Original orchestration from Overground Music 6 '

From: Ra? F. Rueda <> Subject: RE: After Crying's "Bootleg Symphony"
Now that you mentioned AC, is there any consensus on which of their albums is considered the best? I love this band, and it was the first from the 90s vintage I listened to. IMHO, FeE seems "sensibly" better that "De Profundis", which I consider "technically" better.

From: "Surjorimba Suroto" <> Subject: Re: RE: After Crying's "Bootleg Symphony"
Ra? F. Rueda wrote: >Now that you mentioned AC, is there any consensus on which of their albums is considered the best?
Ignoring their compilation and live albums, I love Megalazottak es Megs.... most.

From: "Andrew J. Rozsa" <> Subject: Re: RE: After Crying's "Bootleg Symphony"
I understand your question, but I have no answer for you. Others' mileage will vary. I don't listen to albums. I listen to music. To me, the music of a group like AC, is like a bagful of real (not cultured) pearls. They may not be perfect, in fact it is the flaws that make them unique. Each is beautiful and valued on its own right. Some are bigger, some are smaller, some are rounder, others are more misshapen. Yet, when you make a necklace out of them, you have true beauty to behold.  Similarly, any given one track of an artist or artists may appeal to me one time more than others, but all will fit into the overall picture, over time.
Depending on my mood, which is variable, and the environment, circumstances, and listening device, I may pick one track today as delightful, and another tomorrow.
I don't participate in polls (although I find them interesting) because I don't listen to albums by year of release or category. I hear about a 1972 album in 2001, and that album may be the best I have heard in February of 2001. The same album may leave me substantially less satisfied 2 months later. And vice versa. I find a group that touches me and it's quite possible that I will acquire everything that group has released and will listen to nothing but them for several weeks on end.
AC's style of music, their instrumental skills, their philosophy, their evolution over the years, their fitness with my own cultural heritage all combine to make them my all time most favorite musical creators. Today.
But I felt this way about Walter/Wendy Carlos in the late 60s, Tangerine Dream and Pink Floyd in the 70s, the Italian and German proggers in the 80s, my electronic musician friends in the 90s, etc. Sometimes my likes and dislikes run seasonally... last Christmas and this year's I couldn't get enough of TSO's 3 albums, for instance. Occasionally I listened to operatic Christmas albums, or gospel singing, even a cappella, but I kept returning to TSO. Next year? Who knows? :-)
As far as consensus is concerned.... I'll be absolutely amazed if there IS consensus..... which is what makes this list absolutely a pleasure to read.

From: "Andrew J. Rozsa" <>
Date: Tue Jan 29, 2002 10:26 pm
Subject: Re: [e-Prog] new Vedres Csaba and Korai Orom available
ADVERTISEMENT
Some of you asked...so here it is:
I found a Hungarian source for Vedres Csaba and Korai Orom.
I bought the following:
Vedres Csaba: "Zongorazene" (Piano Music) CD; XP006
Vedres Csaba: "EPHATA I. - Tortured & Formatted" CD; XP013
Vedres Csaba: "L?ekt?c" (Spirit Dance) CD; SKKTCD202
Korai ??: "2001", CD; KORAI0006
and Emil is selling them for $10 a piece plus $5 for shipping... so the 4 CDs above will cost $45, everything included. Emil Biljarszki is the pomoter and manager for the group Korai Orom (see reviews at e-prog Website) and now also the export manager for Fono Records (Hungary). Write him directly at <> or visit the store at: http://www.fonorecords.hu/cdaruhaz/ and check out the Katalogus. They are listing only the new stuff, but they have a lot, if not everything we need from Vedres and Korai Orom. I have asked about Solaris and After Crying, will let you know. Dont' worry about the Hungarian. They speak English and eventually will have everything tri-lingually. Meanwhile, ask me... I will translate, or look for stuff for you. J?zen?, mindenkinek. AndrewR

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