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(51:05, Metal Mind Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. All Left Behind 3:18 2. Enchanted 5:35 3. Summer Fuss 4:56 4. Carried by the Wind 6:00 5. Resurrection 5:14 6. My Straight Path 5:58 7. The Mention 5:23 8. Good Things are Worth Waiting for 3:33 9. Hope's Still Alive 4:54 10. Happiness 6:08 LINEUP: Krzysiek Drogowski vocals Czarek Bregier guitars Wojtek Tyminski guitars Mariusz Ziokowski bass Radek Wieckowski drums
Prolusion. The Polish band AFTER was formed back in 2002, as something of a successor to the recently disbanded act Awake. They made their debut with "Endless Lunatic" in 2005, and since then two more studio albums and a live production have followed. "No Attachements" is their most recent studio outing, and was released by Metal Mind towards the tail end of 2011.
Analysis. The progressive rock universe covers a lot of musical ground: from productions challenging ones notions about the difference between noise and music to efforts of a distinctly accessible nature with a strong emphasis on harmony and melody. And sometimes artists will also have at least half a foot placed inside another musical universe, crossing over, so to speak. After is such a band, residing in the most accessible part of the art rock realm and with at least half a foot well inside the mainstream rock universe. Structurally the 10 songs are all fairly straightforward in nature, consisting of verse and chorus parts with an instrumental passage that tends to appear at the halfway point. A few brief transitional inserts between these parts are the main sophisticated asset, besides the arrangements that is. But also in construction we're dealing with material of a fairly accessible nature. Steady rhythms and acoustic guitars make up the basic foundation, with lead vocals on top and a contrasting layer of electric guitars the main refined detail used. Frequently in the shape of post rock oriented, light toned textured guitar layers, but occasionally with darker toned, dampened but energetic riffs, this latter approach a common feature for the chorus parts. Dampened electronic effects are sparingly but effectively utilized on a select few pieces, and in some instances the bass guitar is given the task of supplying a more dominating, surging lead motif. The end result is compositions that are generally pleasant, positive in mood, with careful but distinct melodies and harmonies smoothly coming and going. Clever inserts of harder hitting, energetic sequences add nerve and tension, and when applied, darker toned passages further enhance the compositions. Nothing groundbreaking or challenging, but nice music that's easy to like and hum along to, many of the tracks with what I'd describe as a timeless sound. Performance and production are high quality throughout, and for the right crowd this is an album that will be regarded as a treasured item. Among the most interesting numbers I'd recommend the curious to check out My Straight Path and Good Things Are Worth Waiting For, both efforts among the most interesting items in my personal opinion, and to some extent these two pieces also represent the outer edges of this disc in a nice manner as far as style variation goes.
Conclusion. "No Attachements" is a production that should appeal to those who tend to enjoy art rock with a mainstream rock orientation. The main emphasis is on mood and melody; the songs are relatively short and always accessible, while gentle post rock flavoring and some smoothly contrasting arrangements cater for the main levels of sophistication. A pleasant and enjoyable disc that should appeal to a traditional rock audience just as much as to an art rock one.
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