Probably one of Americaís best kept secrets is After The Fall. Their latest release kNOwleDGE really was a big surprise, although the four musicians from Connecticut, USA were absolutely unknown to me. So I didnít know they previously released three albums which also contained a high level of progressive rock music. Therefore, this review can be seen as an introduction to the marvelous music created by this wonderful band.
On their previous albums their music mostly consisted of instrumentals, including many solos played by Ken Archer on keyboards and Mark Alden Benson on guitars, but also song related material. Since bass player Jeff Brewer joined the band for their third release The Living Drum, After The Fall started to perform music that reminded me of bands such as Glass Hammer or Spockís Beard, especially as a consequence of Jeffís playing on the Rickenbacker-bass, but fortunately the influences of Emerson, Lake & Palmer remained. Ken Archerís fantastic organ and synthesizer sounds have evident echoes from Keith Emerson, but unlike Emerson, Ken also plays the Mellotron. Iím not sure if the use of this legendary instrument is the reason why every track sounds so wonderful. Anyway, it certainly gives the music a typical seventies feeling. The album contains three epic tracks with a duration time of about 20 minutes each. Those pieces have the most instrumental parts with several solos played on guitar and synthesizers. The other three tracks are shorter and can be seen as the more song-oriented pieces.
After The Fall has a talent to create strong progressive rock music and the length of the tracks doesnít really matter. Therefore, itís a shame that this band gets less attention in the media than the above-mentioned bands. They certainly deserve a much larger audience. Hopefully this review will open the eyes and ears of many prog heads. Watch out for After The Fall!
****+ Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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