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Articles Home » 1983 Articles » FSB - 1983 Ten Year After
FSB - 1983 Ten Year After

ALBUM: Ten Year After
LABEL: Balkanton (Bulgaria)
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: 2000, UBP, UBP-028


LINEUP: Rumen Boyadzhiev - vocals, synthesizer, mellotron, guitar, percussion * Konstantin Tsekov - vocals, piano, hammond, mellotron, clavinet, harpsichord * Aleksandar Baharov - bass, backing vocals * Peter Slavov - drums, percussion * Ivan Lechev - guitars * Boris Dinev - percussion * Angel Veznev - saxophone

TRACK LISTING: 01 We Shall Embrace Again * 02 Promise * 03 Images * 04 Ten Year After * 05 If You Stop * 06 Episode From A Romantic Movie

WEBLINKS: www.fsb.bg

FSB were already the biggest band in Bulgaria by 1983, having captured the imagination with two initial proggy outings and following those with 1980's '78 RPM' which successfully fused jazzy west coast with prog elements. 1982's 'Illusia' added some more AOR power to the mix, launching the sound that would drive them further up the charts in the rest of the 80's. They seemed to favour the mini album approach, averaging six tracks but with just about no filler on display. Released in 1983, 'Ten Year After' was no different and became a milestone record in Bulgarian rock history.

The Songs
The reason I say that is mostly down to the opening cut 'We Shall Embrace Again', which became such an enormous hit in Bulgaria it's been inescapable since! Starting out with the chorus in acapella form, a furious intro flurry leads to that main riff and hook, and you're away. This is pure class that could easily sit next to the very best of Toto. You'd think Geoff Downes was guesting on keys during the anthem chorus, but nothing prepares you for the long and mountainous outro which is basically pomp heaven laced with incredible soloing from Lechev. Classic AOR song, period. 'Promise' starts out gently enough, like a lighter Styx, but swiftly develops a pounding slow crunch of tempo. Naturally FSB build a compelling AOR chorus around this bedrock, not to mention the fluid guitar runs with Lechev again taking some spotlight. 'Images' is an instrumental synth showcase, containing so many hooks and potential song ideas that it's entertaining and frustrating all at once. At least three quality AOR tracks could have emerged from these ideas!

Well now, guess whose been listening to their late 70's BJH albums? Title track 'Ten Year After' refers directly to the 'Gone To Earth' era, dreamy synth and acoustic tendencies setting a perfect scene for a melody that won't leave you easily. Sunday afternoon chilled AOR to sip your espresso to! 'If You Stop' showcases the band's more funky chops, yet the melody is not left behind. This always puts me in the mood for 'Toto IV', never a bad thing. 'Episode From A Romantic Movie' is the epic track here, fusing the best of Toto and Saga with a side order of Ambrosia. Here you get hooks, tempo changes, sweeping instrumental passages and a soaring AOR chorus into the bargain. Superb closing track, highly recommended listening for those who don't mind a little prog in their AOR.

In Summary
'Ten Year After' turned FSB from established stars in Bulgaria to megastars, with a growing reputation both behind the iron curtain and in Western Europe. From here they would not look back, scoring further AOR success as the 80's progressed. Something I didn't mention in the body of the review is the dual lead vocals by Roumen Boyadzhiev (mid range) and Konstantin Tsekov (mid to high range), both are outright class and they combine effortlessly. FSB comes strongly recommended to all AOR lovers.

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