Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Jethro Tull - The Zealot Gene CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

3.34 | 190 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars "The populist with dark appeal. The pandering to hate.

Which xenophobic scaremongers deliver on a plate.

To tame the pangs of hunger. And satisfy the lust.

Slave to ideology. Moderation bites the dust." - The Zealot Gene

Ian Anderson comes up with a damn good Jethro Tull album, and it's about time. First off, there is no overt prog here ala TAAB, or a rehash of Aqualung. But at 74 years old, and with blown out vocal pipes, this is exactly the quality album that Ian should have been making, either under the Tull moniker or solo, since Roots To Branches in 1995, or even since Crest Of A Knave in 1987! The song writing is stellar. All have that mysterious Tull vibe that's imbued in earlier, and in some cases, classic Tull albums. But The Zealot Gene is no rehash of old notes, riffs or ideas, as the lyrics for the title track above plainly show. Ian may not do Twitter, but he's aware of the times and who's been driving it along.

Musically, the album is broken up with hard flute driven rockers, with subtly intriguing melodies and hooks that seem to sneak up on you, and acoustic based numbers. There's wonderful interplay between Ian's flute, John O'Hara's keyboards, and Florian Opahle's guitar (sounding more like his own man this time around as opposed to a Martin Barre imitator, but a bit generic at times) on these tracks. The bevy of acoustic guitar based tracks take up the other half of the songs and the verity is quite impressive, From the upbeat Celtic tinged "Sad City Sisters", driven along by mandolin and tin whistle, to the gentle pining of the dual guitar strumming of "In Brief Visitation", the album's penultimate track. The standout rockers are the title track "The Zealot Gene", "Shoshana Sleeping", "Barren Beth, Wild Desert John" and "The Betrayal Of Joshua Kinde", a song that rings mightily of the jazzy "Poseidon/Lizard" era King Crimson, both lyrically and musically and is a real treat. Somewhere in the middle of soft and heavy is the eerie piano led "Mine Is The Mountain", a stark comment on the grumbling god of the Old Testament. The song evokes "My God" from Aqualung without any mimicry, and features a wonderful flute, drums and keyboard mid section, another album highlight.

The mixing and production is impeccable. The sound quality is first rate. The playing is great, the arrangements are very good, and Ian's vocals sound very good on these songs, which obviously don't stretch his vocal limitations. Great songs with great lyrics. What more can you ask for? 4 stars. Nice going Ian, but what kept you?

Caveat: If you're looking for complaints about Martin Barre no longer being in the band, you've come to the wrong review, as it's the music that's important.

SteveG | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this JETHRO TULL review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.