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Yesterdays - Holdfénykert CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.65 | 46 ratings

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5 stars I must start this review with a confession, I know this band from the Holdfénykert album's first gig, it took place in Cluj Napoca (Romania) on the 22nd October in 2006. A friend of mine recommended this band, at that time I was so much into Sfinx's Zalmoxe album (RO), so I gave them a try and since than I am a Yesterdays fan. But I will try to keep a distance to write about Yesterdays' debut album.

Holdfénykert (Moonlit Garden) is a very intimate album, lyrically speaking and it is maybe because the Hungarian language is a very deep, delicate and philosophical, mystical language. The strong lyrical content is maybe accessible only for Hungarians but the music can also take you there!

This album is definitely about different states and dimensions of Love, from the beginning (the meeting) till the departure and a difficult end, maybe a say-goodbye.

Let's see the songs:

1. Sunlit Garden / Napfénykert is a shiny little tune, very progressive with sophisticated rythm changes and multiple flute voices (flute is definitely the main instrument in this little song), a nice acuostic guitar solo, a great intro, very light, we can call this the meeting... folky, but in a very progressive and symphonic way! Kozma Kis Emese, the flute player of this album is shining through!

2. Infinite / Végrelen is the second title of the album, shows the early side of Yesterdays (they played jazzy-bossa nova music in their early days)... A drum-and-bass like drum groove fills the song with pop energy and I must say that the lyrics are very funny and unusual here, hungarian word-jokes if you like. The music is very pop-jazzy, but the orchestration and the production is strong progressive rock. Delightfulo flute passages/solos, acoustic guitars, percussion (congas/bongos/shakers) and calm/clear vocals from Kinga Jánosi.

3. Don't Be Scared / Ne félj starts with reversed Fender Rhodes sounds and quotes a traditional hugarian folk song called "Felszállott a páva". The bass playing in this song is very accurate and soloistic. A flute solo follows and the vocal comes in, projecting some words about the last song of the album "Valahol a térben"... From the shinging beginning the band hits a darker tone and the song gets a Jethro Tull-like vibe and even some Genesis touch before the song reaches a very interestin guitar synth solo in the style of Pat Metheny, but here it's not jazzy, it's symphonical and very proggy.

4. On the Musea's edition there is a confusion about the order of the songs. The sleeve mentions It's so divine but it's Ákos Bogáti's solo guitar piece (If Ever). Since I had the chance to see Ákos performing this piece I can tell that it has nothing to do with Steve Howe's acoustic performances. He uses some special tapping techniques to play the arrangements and the solo melody in the same time. It's the delight of the Yesterdays gigs!

5. It's so divine is the first piece in English on this album, probably the first song of Yesterdays ever written. (The lyrics were written by Andrea Ercsey, the first lead singer of the band in 2002) It starts like a Pat Metheny tune (it reminds me of Phase dance) with vocals and nice proggy arrangements through this jazzy-bossa nova feel. A very nice moog glide in the middle of the song, very difficult harmony changes and many vocals. I would still consider this as a pop song in symphonic prog arrangements... interesting fusion.

6. Where are you / Hol vagy A long piece, filled with acoustic guitars, flute and clear female vocals from Timea Fülöp and Kinga Jánosi. Ákos also sings backing vocals. This is probably my favourite Yesterdays song yet, mainly because its intimate feel. On the first Yesterdays gig I've seen some people crying during this song. It's about an endless search. The music follows the mood of the lyrics with strong Pat Metheny and Anna Maria Jopek infuences (their duet album called Upojenie comes into my mind immediatly!) The end of the song quotes some Spock's Beard (The Light) and even some Marillion. On the concerts Ákos Bogáti plays piano while Zsolt plays the mellotron. The ending is "tragical" and it is the highest spiritual point of this album.

7. Just stay / Várj még is mosr Symphonic Prog, filled with acoustic guitars again and beautiful female vocals. It starts like a Spock's Beard song (like Say Goodbye to Yesterday) and reaches a flute solo. The percussion of Dávid Kósa here helps Domokos Csergő's drumming iona perfect harmony. At the end Zsolt Enyedi plays a very virtuoso moog solo in the spirit of Rick Wakeman and after his solo here's another quoting, this time they sing some Beatles here, 1 line from Strawberry Fields Forever.

8. Holdfénykert / Moonlit Garden is a very unusual title track, a harpsichord/acoustic guitar duet featuring some bird singing... Personally I don't understand the meaning of this song, it's a little bit boring, but lovers of foly prog may love this tune. It's the opposite of the first tune (Sunlit Garden), it's melancholic. I've heard a more interesting live version once.

9. Seven - it's the highlight of the album, the most powerful and symphonic prog tune of this album. More than 11 minutes long and it has everything a prog-fan would ask for. A powerful intro with moog virtuoso, tons of mellotrons, flute passages, multiple and poliphonical vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, rythm changes, experimenting (guitar solo sounds), hammond organ solo (not ELP, very Wakeman style instead). Progressive and positive ending, beautiful lyrics. A real delight on the Yesterdays gigs, this year they introduced a powerful bass solo of Zoltán Kolumbán... I'd really like to hear a studio version with this new lineup!)

10. Valahol a térben / Somewhere in Space is a slow Bolero of this album, a very good ending, but the electric drums at the end may sound strange to some progressive ears... this song shares roots with Marillion's This is the 21st Century. It starts with a slow building orchestration and electric guitar solo. Than the vocals are entering with ethereal harmonies and Kate Bush-like hypnotical touches (the Kate Bush we know from Aereal). Very nice piano parts and also some modern synth pads. The song ends with a slide guitar solo and strong and importan lyrical message: "soha többé már"... "somewhere the nevermore"... a very difficult and emotionally hard engind of the album's story. The lyrics of this song is based on parallels and opposite things, the poliphonycal vocal arrangements are building up like a Bolero till the confusion and lyrically speaking it's the perfect choice to round up the message. The sad ending in this case has some catarsis too, sorry it is accessible mainly for hungarians :)

After all these years this album is still one of my favourite Eastern European progressive albums, a very nice debut of a very young band. Of course I am looking fowrard to hear their follow-up this year, but since I bought this CD I could listen to it only carefully, because of the emotionally strong content, but this is the personal side of this reviewer (me).

This CD is mainly for symphonic progrock fans who like Camel, early Genesis and Yes, but you'll have to have some ears for pop and jazzy things too. A nice journey to all the curious and open-mindend progrock fans.

Katusnya | 5/5 |


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