Polish band After... stands for quality in my book of progressive music and with their third album, the boys certainly did not let me down. Having a stable line-up makes sure the band's focus completely goes to the music and that resulted in another impressive album. Vocalist Krzysiek Drogowski, guitarists Czarek Bregier and Wojtek Tyminski, bass player Mariusz Ziotkowski and drummer Radek Wieckowski have been playing together since the debut album: Endless Lunatic in 2005. The follow-up Hideout was released in 2008 and now No Attachments has seen the light to please the old fans and to certainly gain some new ones. The only change in the band came when keyboard player Tomek Wilsniewski left the band.
Did this effect the music on After..'s new CD ? Yes, I think it did. On the previous albums, the keyboards had a major role in the sound of the band, but now the music has slightly moved away from progressive rock. I think the best description would be alternative progressive rock as the band's music is a bit more straight-forward and much more guitar orientated.
It is easy to compare every band from Poland with Riverside and on their previous album Hideout, there were elements of Riverside in the music, but now After... has turned the other way and found new influences to incorporate into their music. The new influences come from bands like The Pineapple Thief, Muse and Blackfield, resulting in beautiful rock songs like Summer Fuss; with a poppy edge and My Straight Pass, Carried By The Wind and Enchanted, which also have some hints of Sylvan.
After...'s strong point for me is vocalist Krzysiek, who has the same intensity as Sylvan's Marco Glühmann. Hope's Still Alive is another great song; powerful with slightly distorted vocals in the beginning over a repeating pattern on the guitar. Sometimes Oceansize also comes to mind; especially in the last song of the album Happiness-a very intense and emotional sung composition.
When I was listening to After...'s new album; No Attachments, I was happily surprised to hear the change in music. I really did like their previous albums, but there was a strong Polish Progressive Rock moniker over them (not meant as criticism). With the new CD After... have totally became international and I think the influence of members of The Pineapple Thief; who were involved in the album's production, lifted the band to another level. The songs are kept fairly simple, which the progressive rock fans who liked previous albums, will have to get used to. No Attachments is an honest and pure album, moving away from progressive rock, but very impressive; powerful songs and a mighty voice.
***+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Robert James Pashman)
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