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Zaragon - No Return CD (album) cover

NO RETURN

Zaragon

 

Symphonic Prog

3.32 | 21 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

progaardvark
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I stumbled upon this one-time effort by Zaragon during a time period when I attempted to acquire at least one prog rock recording from every European country. When it came time to find something from Denmark, there wasn't a whole lot to pick from (this has since changed), and so Zaragon's No Return found it's way to me in the postal mail.

I wasn't expecting much. The limited amount of information at the time described them as being influenced by Genesis and being somewhat similar to Amenophis and Novalis. When I popped it into my CD player, I was delightfully surprised. It was much better than I had anticipated, but I thought their influences were more towards Camel and Eloy. I love lush synthesizers and Zaragon had much to offer in that regard. Guitarist Finn Jansen was clearly from the Latimer and Gilmour schools of guitar wizardry. I was expecting something similar to 1980s neo-prog, but what I ended up with was some very skilled, though not quite mature, symphonic prog rock akin to the greats of the same subgenre from the 1970s. The concepts seem to involve Utopianism, science fiction, and environmental issues.

Unfortunately this was the only release ever made by Zaragon, from a country not really known for its prog, in the dead era of prog rock. The timing of this release was the worst possible. Fortunately someone remembered them enough to re-release their album on CD. Enough so that the group reunited in 1993 to record again, but only resulting in the lone bonus track called Fear to Fight. This track does sound like neo prog (kind of like Saga). Apparently it was not impressive enough for the band to continue. If Zaragon could have weathered the 1980s, maybe the path they would have taken would have led them down the route of a fallen prog band making singles (like IQ and Saga during the same time period). Maybe they would have stuck to their prog routes. No one will ever know and too bad they were never really given the chance.

Still, a very enjoyable listen, much better than most one-release prog bands. Clearly one of the best releases from the 1980s, but not in the same league as a Script for a Jester's Tear or Marsbéli Krónikák. I like this enough to give it a firm four stars.

progaardvark | 4/5 |

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