Meztelen Ebéd Karmatológus
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So, it hasn't been too long since last we heard from Hungarian progressive rockers Meztelen Ebéd (Naked Lunch in English). I'm glad to say that Karmatológus, the follow up to Fóld Kávéhaz, was well received when it hit our offices. The new EP features five new songs and two remixes, all of which take the sound already developed and drive it even further, providing an excellent quality effort that steps away from any issued I might have had with the last album.

To that end, Meztelen Ebéd has steered away from the lyrical portion of their songs, focusing on where they are their best: the music. Performed crisply and with an exact detail that delivers the songs without any misconception, the music is some of the best progressive rock I've had the pleasure to hear in some time. Production on the album is exceptionally clean, which is a must for the music to really shine. Any poor production or sloppiness would have weakened the performance. Luckily, there are no flubs or flaws to detract.

To accent the main tracks are six interludes that move each song into the next like well-delivered segues. Even though their time is short, I found the music in these interludes to be quite sweet, especially the opening track, which gives the listener a great bass and drum beat that's shortly mimicked in the third interlude and then brought to an end in the final interlude.

The first true song of the album, Macskamenta, proves to set a great tone for the album. It quickly pops to life, with a thrifty beat and bass-line, accented with the frisky guitars that grow in power and activity. Raw moments roar to life, giving the song a variety of sound, balanced by more melodic light moments. Arameus begins with a great bass and didgeridoo combo that builds with a rolling drumbeat. The groove found in this song is infectious and charming and I absolutely love the bass-line that really stands out.

At well over six minutes long, Mikrofonfej is a fine example of what the band is really trying to show: an eclectic mix of influence culminated in a flowing track that never seems to grow tiring no matter what is going on. Lassú is a more casual piece that works at the relationship between the guitars and bass. This relationship grows into a fiery cacophony that maintains a fine energy and excitement while retaining its clarity. Iszaplézer is a very groove-heavy track that technically ends the album on a good note, especially with some of the more playful elements of the song.

I say "technically ends" because the album does feature two remixes, one of Iszaplézer and one of Arameus. Both remixes are interesting takes on the original songs that do enough to change things up without taking too much away from the quality of the songs. The remixes manage to find that fine middleground between variation and recognizability.

If you like progressive rock or just enjoy listening to people who know how to play, check this album out. There really isn't much else that I can say. If you didn't get how good this effort is by reading the review, I don't know what else to tell you.

- - Kinderfeld

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