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Zoundworks - 2014 CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.02 | 112 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars One of the most dynamic and passionate albums I listened to lately! At first I was held back a bit, because the longest title on "2014" only measured 4:19, but then the music started and I was immediately convinced! The first song "First Flight" shows us rightaway a very solid and dynamic rhythm section supporting a couple of acoustic rhythm guitars and then it's off. After a short Moog intro, a sparkling electric guitar takes the lead in a catchy solo flight over a great thythm section (so much liked both the drums and bass!) The middle section gives us a beautiful majestic theme, again played on the lead guitar and it's off again, shifting a couple of gears towards the end of the song with a reprise of the first theme.

The second composition "What's That Zound" starts with a true virtuoso tapping solo and then the rhythm section is off to support a simple but catchy theme played both on synth and lead guitar. The song is making clear, that this is going to be a true "happy" album with a feel good sound.

Speed is lowered in "Prelude To The Future" in which a beautifully recorded 12 string guitar plays the main theme, well supported by ivory keyboards and a beautiful fretless bass. "The Last War" is again a dynamic up tempo composition with beautiful layered guitar parts and some great tempo changes. Probably the best composition on the album is "Interlude" which opens with a subtle steel string guitar arpeggio, that is soon joined by a deep dark Moog bass and a simple but subtle flute melody, followed by a nostalgic wailing guitar lead, then the rhythm section speeds up, support some spicy virtuoso Mini Moog solo's. The song ends in the quiet of the return of the flute theme.

Analog keyboards are to be enjoyed in compositions like "Stressless" and "Zoundwork Shuffle" in which you are letterally buried under a true avalanche of Moog and Hammond solo's all cascading over each other. A beautiful contrast with all this electric violence is formed by the completely unplugged songs "Second Flight" (an unplugged version of First Flight) and the fantastic "Early Bird Waltz". Although acoustic, these songs are as dynamic as their electric counterparts. All sorts of plucked instruments, like mandolin, lute, ukulele and baroque guitar are alternated by flute duets, all supported by a dynamic throbbing rhythm section. The drumming is of excellent Quality and i so much liked the bass parts!

Most of the album is instrumental, but here are some vocal contributions by Ankie Jansen (who was actually the original Zoundworks singer back in 1983) and Marion Brinkman (leading voice with Life Line Project). Ankie is singing the funny and more poppy "Injustice" (a great voice!!), while Marion is beautifully singing "The Hole", one of the most introverted songs on the album.

The album concludes with a reprise of the First Flight theme in "Last Flight", this time highlighting the Mini Moog.

It is hard to believe that all instruments on "2014" are played by one man only. The sound on the album is so much alive! It appears that Zoundworks mastermind Erik de Beer has recorded all tracks without the use of midi or click-tracks, in order to preserve stronger dynamics and how well he succeeded. It's hard to believe also that one man is a master on so many different instruments. With "2014" Erik delivered a great symphonic achievement, that will probably please lots of lovers of dynamic melodic symphonic prog. A beautiful production, worth checking out!!


Whistler | 5/5 |


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