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Runaway Totem - Zed CD (album) cover

ZED

Runaway Totem

 

Zeuhl

3.28 | 19 ratings

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Shakespeare
3 stars I loved this album when I first heard it. Its epic, grand scale is really special. But the more I listen to it, the more I notice the flaws. The really symphonic, classical, epic introduction sets the mood perfectly, and the crushing guitar riff thereafter keeps the energy up, but after a hundred or so repeats the simple riff does not hold up. They do change things up, though, but I think it could have been edited shorter. The silly vocals (sung in Italian) are kind of dissonant, and the annoying, daunting keyboard voices don't help. There are actually a lot of jazz influences here, I find, as a lot of Zheul has.

On the good side, there's lots of diversity in terms of dynamics and styles. Things drop from high-energy guitar led riffage, to the more serene, atmospheric, spacey sections. With a huge line of guest musicians, there's a lot of diversity in terms of the instruments that appear on the album, too. But unfortunately, poor production mocks the music, and sound quality is not noteworthy. Playing is sloppy, and execution is sometimes dry. Yet, despite all these flaws, the compositions are so excellent, the complexity is really fulfilling, and the epic feel just puts it over the top. It's quite worth a listen to avant-garde fans, jazz fans, or Zheul fans (though there is not a massive relation to Magma's music).

Shakespeare | 3/5 |

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