After six studio albums, the Hungarian chamber prog ensemble After Crying released the compilation Almost Pure Instrumental. Presented as the first volume in a series, it features mostly instrumental pieces from the band's catalog, with the exception of the last track "Shining," which opens the repertoire to the next installment. There is at least one track from each one of the first six albums, plus four unreleased pieces. "Aqua" is a short waltz serving as an intro for After Crying's "Big Evil Fun Fair Final." "Windblown Waltz" has nice arrangements, the "Sonata for Violoncello and Piano" is a showcase for Péter Pejtsik and Balázs Winkler, and "Pilgrim's March" is a substantial piece with a lyrical electric guitar melody (but annoying programmed percussion). The new tunes are no match for the older material, though. Usually, After Crying albums are mixed bags of full-blown progressive rock pieces and unsavory short tunes. On this compilation, special care was put in the selection: All the essentials are here, including "Suburban Night," "The Insulted and Injured," "Struggle for Life," and "Shining." Definitely the best place to start in the band's discography.
AllMusic Review by François Couture