Thursday, 7 May 2015
Hungarian East with 1984's Az Áldozat (Sodoma) [The Victim (Sodom)]
I confess that I hadn't been aware of this band until recently when I heard this record. I realize it's been put out on CD so I'll display it quite briefly. Evidently the band has an enormous discography following a first record put out in 1981.
What appealed to me with regards to this one is that the music is all instrumental and written for a ballet.
A transitional album of the great Hungarian prog heroes: the old line-up was almost split up but they haven’t been teamed up with Takáts yet.
This is not a regularly progressive rock record but music composed for a ballet performed in progressive rock vein. The sound is very traditional: the record sounds similar to the debut Játékok the synthetic sound present on the two succeeding albums is not apparent here. Not only the sound reminds to the first album but also some of the musical themes have been heard on Játékok. Those who liked their first album will definitely enjoy this.
This is a completely instrumental album and very functional as music. The closing track is a revised repetition of the opening ‘Sodom’, slightly in the vein of ‘Fanfare for the Common Man’, both seem to run too long. The tracks in between are generally moderate in tempo and more interesting. The two standouts are ‘Women’s Lament’ and the beautiful ‘Lea’ which is clearly the record’s best moment with the guitar work within. ‘Auction’ is an ambient like piece which is very functional, while ‘Dance of Course’ is in the vein of the first and last track with more energy.
I would say Sodom is a very good album since East for me is still a standout act of Hungarian progressive rock. On the other hand something is missing here: a short material where almost half of the running time is occupied by the first and last track. That’s why I recommend this one for fans and collectors only.
It is definitely disappointing that the last track reiterates the first, tritones notwithstanding. I dearly would have loved to see this with choreography. Anyways I'll throw in all the first four records at the bottom. Here's the first track for your listening pleasure: