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The RedZen - Void CD (album) cover

VOID

The RedZen

 

Eclectic Prog

3.91 | 20 ratings

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TenYearsAfter
4 stars So many new Italian progrock bands in the last two decades, I would like to put the focus on an interesting one- shot-band, named The RedZen.

Although this was a debut CD, all musicians were very experienced. First guitar player Ettore Salati who was a member of The Watch, studied modern guitar and played with known names like David Jackson (VDGG) and Aldo Tagliapietra (Le Orme). Then keyboardist Angelo Racz, a conservatory piano player who enjoyed jazz piano concourses and teaches piano lessons. Drummer Roberto Leoni joined many bands with a wide range of styles and he also played in The Watch. Finally bass player Nicola Della Pepa, an autodidact, influenced by Pink Floyd and Rush. Later he started to study double-bass on a conservatory and he was involved in many musical activities. So a band with a huge experience and a varied musical background, that's what you also can hear on their promising promo mini-CD from 2010 on which three tracks. These are also included on this official debut CD entitled Void that the band released in early 2011.

Well, I am very impressed by The RedZen their mainly instrumental music: the nine compositions contain strong interplay, excellent solo's, we can enjoy many creative musical moments and the band blends several styles in a captivating way, from Seventies progrock to pure jazz rock. The rhythm-section is an inventive powerhouse, very dynamic and often propulsive. The keyboards deliver an alternating sound, from tender and sparkling Grand piano to flashy synthesizer flights and sumptuous Hammond organ, the interaction with the guitar is great. But the focus is on Ettore Salati his awesome guitar work: he easily switches from Gilmour and Hackett inspired to Jeff Beck or prog metal and at some moments he also plays sitar.

My highlights are the exciting opener Cluster (in which we can trace elements of Jeff Beck's Star Cycle, no coincidence if you listen to Ettore's guitar sound here), Slapdash Dance (moving guitar, propulsive percussion with sitar, sensational synthesizer runs and Gilmourian slide guitar), the dreamy Into The Void (wonderful tribute to Hackett), the alternating Return To Kolkata (interlude with twanging 12 string guitars evokes early Genesis along swelling Hammond and fiery guitars) and the splendid final track Alexa In The Cage (strong build-up with virtuosic play from all musicians and varied styles). One track on this album contains vocals (by Joe Sal), to me it sounds a bit too polished.

I prefer The RedZen playing instrumental, then the band is at its best. Unfortunately it remained totally silent after this strong debut album, what a lost.

TenYearsAfter | 4/5 |

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