Android - Wordless Scriptum

(CD 2024, 53:09, GR1993 Records)

The tracks:
  1- Wordless Scriptum - Pregenesis(3:03)
  2- Wordless Scriptum - Genesis(3:30)
  3- Wordless Scriptum - Chaos And Order(3:52)
  4- Wordless Scriptum - A Kind Of Joy(5:26)
  5- Wordless Scriptum - War And Peace(7:56)
  6- Feels Like Feels(4:21)
  7- Spanish Romance(6:51)
  8- Incomplete Farewell(6:05)
  9- Metamorphosis - Part 1(1:05)
10- Metamorphosis - Part 2(9:01)
11- Metamorphosis - Part 3(1:59)

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Band info. "The Hungarian outfit Android was originally formed back in 1980 by students and teachers from the Lajos Kossuth Univeristy of Arts and Sciences (today known as The University of Debrecen). Dudas Janos (guitars), Szekelyhidi Laszlo (bass), Tozser Jozsef (keyboards), Milesz Sandor (keyboards) and Mezo Orban (drums) made up the initial line-up, and the band specialized in long, symphonic works - often inspired by literary works by writers such as Mikhail Bulgakov and Robert Graves. Android disbanded without ever releasing any music though, but its members carried on playing music in other outfits, some of which turned out to be rather succesfull. Android reunited on a select few occasions over the years with various line-ups, most notably on the band's 15th "birthday" in 1995 for a live concert. In 1995 keyboardist Tozser Jozsef also composed 50 minutes of new music, and combined with some of Android's older numbers released this as the cassette only production East Of Eden. In 2008 most of the original members hooked up again, and decided that it was time to reunite the band. Soon after all forming members, without bassist Laszlo, had agreed to start off this musical adventure anew, and with Pocsai Sandor (bass) in as the new man Android was ready for the second chapter of its history. In September 2008 they made their live debut at Budapest Papp Laszlo Sports Arena in front of an audience of 6000, and in May 2009, 29 years after the original foundation of the band, Android issued their official debut CD, a re-recorded and re-orchestrated version of Jozsef's 1996 album East of Eden."

This new album entitled Wordless Scriptum is the bands 6th CD release since the eponymous effort from 2009. I am a huge fan of Omega and Solaris, and I like East, After Crying and Yesterdays so I was very curious to the sound of this Hungarian prog formation when I reviewed their previous album entitled Another Midnight Ball (see review, 2022, reissue from 2011). "The eleven compositions alternate between melodic rock, Neo-Prog and Heavy Prog, with a very accessible and harmonic sound, the English vocals contain a strong accent but to me it sounds OK, and most parts of the music are instrumental. The focus is on excellent work on guitars and synthesizers, featuring strong interplay and lots of soli, fuelled by a tight rhythm-section. Especially in the longer tracks I am excited about the smoking guitars, and the spectacular Minimoog-like synthesizer sound, from spacey to fat, wow!"

In comparison with Another Midnight Ball this new album sounds more elaborate and more in the symphonic rock tradition, less melodic rock and Neo-Prog, and it's mainly instrumental. I am delighted about the music, the 11 compositions alternate between mellow and bombastic featuring lots of variety, tension and dynamics, and the work on guitar and keyboards is excellent.

1. Tender piano and a harpsichord-like sound, halfway with soaring keyboards and spacey synthesizer Moog synthesizer in Wordless Scriptum - Pregenesis (3:03).

2. Fiery guitar leads, blended with spacey keyboards, and finally Keith Emerson kind of Moog runs in Wordless Scriptum - Genesis (3:30).

3. Sparkling piano and distorted electric guitar, then a slow rhythm, followed by classical orchestrations, spacey synthesizer flights, slow drum beats, halfway blended with intense guitar runs, wah-wah drenched, in Wordless Scriptum - Chaos And Order (3:52)

4. From a mid-tempo beat with varied keyboards and powerful electric guitar to a bombastic eruption with moving electric guitar, and from a Moog synthesizer solo and a swinging piano solo to a heavy guitar solo with wah-wah, and in the end tender piano in Wordless Scriptum - A Kind Of Joy (5:26).

5. Lots of exciting moments in Wordless Scriptum - War And Peace (7:56) : First a slow rhythm with Moog synthesizer flights, fiery electric guitar and strong interplay with powerful drums. Then an accellaration with spectacular Minimoog synthesizer runs and fiery guitar, fuelled by a propulsive rhythm-section, in a bombastic atmosphere, wow! Next a blistering wah-wah drenched guitar solo, in a prog metal climate. In the second part first a sensational Minimoog solo with pitchbend, backed by a thunderous rhythm-section. Then the mood shifts to mellow with delicate keyboard work, and a wonderful Minimoog sound, in the end the music culminates into bombastic with intense guitar work. This great composition showcases the huge potential and progress of the band.

6. Feels Like Feels (4:21) starts with twanging acoustic guitar and spacey synthesizer runs Moog, in a slow rhythm. Halfway wah-wah guitar, and finally spacey with Minimoog synthesizer.

7. The track Spanish Romance (6:51) is a variation on the known Spanish guitar piece Romance D'Amor, I use to play it for my wife on request, haha. The band has done a good job, first mellow and romantic like the original musical climate, but then a sumptuous outburst with Minimoog flights, followed by moving guitar work, very tastefully and dynamically arranged.

8. Tender piano, blended with a moving and howling electric guitar solo, in a slow rhythm, what a beautiful and intense sound in Incomplete Farewell (6:05).

9-10-11 : The epic final composition Metamorphosis contains 3 parts. Part 1 and 3 deliver a classical violin sound (inspired by Vivaldi), part 2 features a varied and dynamic Heavy Prog sound, with echoes from of Kansas, with bombastic organ, heavy guitar work, spacey Minimoog synthesizer, and sparkling violin, halfway tender piano runs and finally bombastic.

12. The bonus-track Metamorphosis differs only from the original one with part 1 and 3, now featuring soaring synthesizer and slide guitar.

I am impressed with how this band has matured during the years, culminating in an excellent new album with lots of variety, dynamics and tension, and spectacular work on the Moog synthesizer and exciting heavy guitar.

**** Erik Neuteboom (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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