MENU
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Zone Six - Zone Six CD (album) cover

ZONE SIX

Zone Six

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.00 | 3 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Deep, dark, swirling freeform spacerock, Germany's Zone Six are a band without restrictions or boundaries. Totally improvised, their debut album is a mix of plodding and uneasy psychedelic noise bound to fascinate and terrify. Sounding like one long continuous bad trip through space, it constantly crashing down on top of you with maddening bass, liquid synth, dirty distorted squalling electric guitar and driving percussion. Jodi Barry's ethereal voice and tortured words convey a real sense of paranoia and confusion, and while the seductively meandering music is sometimes very floating and dreamy, it's more like an unpleasant nightmare, as the band has a superb grasp on delivering building tension and controlled fear.

Australian vocalist Jodi Barry comes across like a harder version of Beth Gibbons from Portishead, her voice sounding so lost and other-wordly one minute, often struggling to be heard above the feedback and distorted noise, and commanding and threatening the next. On tracks like `Barbwired Box' she really spits out her words, conveying genuine terror. She's sensual and beckoning on the reggae tinged `Dream Eyeland', sorrowful and pained on `Her Smell Hasn't Left Me', and because Barry also improvised the lyrics, they often come across as rambling stream-of-consciousness fragments.

`Barbwired Box' is menacing and heavy-going, with a very dark surreal lyric driven home by the pounding drums, and it also has a sinister mellotron outro with a vacuum of acid drenched guitar and keyboards swirling all around. `Empty Spaces' has a foreboding climbing bass line swamped in grumbling distortion. Bass player Dave `Sula Bassana' Schmidt really shines on this one, and Claus Bühler's drums are a perfect example of effective restraint and rising drama, and guitarist Hans-Peter tears through the track with a wall of feedback. Nine-minute standout `Three Elements' coasts through a range of sounds, beginning with a frantic spoken word piece by Barry, then purred vocals before an `Ummagumma'-era Floyd-esque psychedelic middle and finally morphing into a reggae space-out not far from the Ozric Tentacles.

Tracks like `Vacuum' and `Bubble Trouble' are essentially looped electronic experiments, while the three `Mindtrap' parts are walls of feedback and bridging snippets of sound. `Dream Eyeland' is a sprightly reggae-tinged piece filled with loopy electronics with a sensual vocal by Barry, but the music overall remains mysterious and spaced out. H.P's howling guitar licks kill on this one, and there's some bouncy bass and drumwork too. `Her Smell...' has almost middle-eastern motifs throughout, very hypnotic, with a wonderful acid drenched messy guitar solo, and a Gong-like section near the end is quite jarring, actually sounding kind of...malevolent! The Gong influence will surface again at the tail end of the album with the insane ditty `Oh Mary', which helps to lighten the mood after quite a lot of gloom and heavy moodiness!

The album ends on a rather reflective and somber piano/vocal piece sung hauntingly by Barry. It sounds like nothing else on the album, but the band clearly knew it was special when they heard it. Strangely enough, it's oddly uplifting and comforting, and her whispered lyric "I can still feel your shadow..." fills this beautiful piece with vivid imagery and stark emotion.

The sparse production on the album really lets the music breathe, never sounding messy or cluttered, and extra special mention must also go to the face-melting acid-drenched album cover painted by Franz Landel - good chance your mind might resemble it once you've listened to the album a few times! `Zone Six' is very emotionally draining and unnerving, really puts you through the ringer, but it's doubtful the band would have it any other way! Some of the music is a little tedious from time to time, and it's frequently all over the place, but it's always adventurous, fascinating, daring, captivating, groovy and highly original. Very recommended if you can find it!

Four stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

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 ZONE SIX 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: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives