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Gerots Synthesis Group - Utolsó Háború/Last War

Artist: Gerots Synthesis Group
Title: Utolsó Háború/Last War
Label: Stereo Periferic BGCD 065
Length(s): 46 minutes
Year(s) of release: 2000
Month of review: [01/2001]

Line up

Zoltán Gerots - keyboards
Christine von Fáy - bass, 12 string guitar, violoncello
Sultan MCT - drums


1) Grave 2.07
2) Praeludium 2.36
3) Area B-15 3.59
4) Taking Off 3.30
5) Radarzone 3.59
6) Over Stormy Clouds 3.23
7) The Sleeping Town 5.25
8) Target 7.18
9) Fighting For Survival 2.19
10) Vae Victis 3.05
11) Gammaray 4.14
12) Miserere 3.27


All titles are given in both Hungarian and English, but I do hope you forgive me that I do not type in the Hungarian titles as well.

The music

Opening in style with someahat darkish melodic film music, even including some nice violoncello. Praeludium take a very different course: dazzling keyboard playing including some rather tense KC meets ELP with fast bass work. Very good. The drums sound a bit mechanic here and maybe this Sultan MCT is in fact a drum machine, I would not know. After these two short overtures, the rock makes its entrance: the keyboards remain of course the main instrument here, but music sound a bit more "plodding" now. Classical influence abound and the plenty of dissonance in the tracks introduce a certain edginess to the music. This is certainly less accessible than say Rumblin' Orchestra (and also much less classical sounding). The keyboards themselves have a rather typical sound to them: rather high. Notwithstanding the mechanicalness of the drums, there is plenty of drive in this third track, Area B-15.

Taking Off has a strong bass presence and that ascending build up typical of King Crimson. But on bass and marimba like keyboards, not on guitar. The up-tempo part is typical of ELP and its derivatives (mostly those from Japan). Quite a lot of swing to it.

The violoncello returns on Radarzone which also has a strong, low bass presence in its intro. The music is somewhat fugue like, rather repetitive and the keyboards right after the intro seem a senseless to me. A bit more melody I wouldn't have minded right here. Later on somewhat waltz like keyboards become more bombastic and I like it better than.

Over Stormy Clouds has a strongly recognizable part, the hesitating part that is often repeated. I am not very fond of this part, which sounds a bit like a meandering excursion in the style of Emerson.

The Sleeping Town is a murky sounding piece, sinister and darkish. Like in most tracks there is plenty of variation, but the dissonant keyboards continu to be present and the same holds for the drums. The basic theme is quite nice.

Target has some very tense moments to be admired. Very good, but it is too bad that later on in the track the band starts to fiddle about again. The tune has something classical to it, something that happens more often, but because of the not so slick sound, the band manages to cover it up quite a bit.

After the jazzy bass sounds of Fighting For Survival we come to the highly cymbalic Vae Victis with rather strong pointers to ELP (the bass part). The latter is something I would expect during a live rendition of the track.

Gammaray opens with panicky high keyboards. The song itself is quite up-tempo and continues to keep you on edge. Miserere closes down the album with church organ sounds and hammering percussion. Slightly dissonant, this is not an easy going closer to the album, although you might think so at first. Finally then, some church bells are ringing.


Nice/ELP/Ekseption lovers (and of derivates such as Gerard) might have a good one here. The music consists mostly of mechanical sounding drums (a bit more liveliness here might help, although I am not sure), bass and of course keyboards (with some dark violoncello added). Overall the music is dark and sinister with high frequency sounds, quite often edgy and dissonant, but also a few virtuoso performances by Zoltan Gerots. Compared to ELP, I think this band pays more attention to the mood evoked which, being about something called The Last War, is none too happy and sometimes borders on the tenseness of King Crimson. To me, some parts sounded a bit too low on melody and made little sense, but there are some really tense moments to be experienced here.
© Jurriaan Hage