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Zello Quodlibet album cover
3.42 | 37 ratings | 5 reviews | 25% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. I Will Be The Wind (6:53)
2. Spaken (1:04)
3. Flag Of Convenience (10:10)
4. Prästpolskan (0:57)
5. Zwecia (25:29)
6. Anthem Of The Long Forgotten Loss (8:22)
7. Ekelundapolskan (0:53)

Total Time: 52:00

Line-up / Musicians

- Anders Altzarfeldt / Hammond organ, Mellotron, synthesizers
- Lennart Glenberg-Eriksson / violin
- Danne Lindell / bass
- Svetlan Raket / drums, percussion
- P-O Saether / vocals

Releases information

Kaewa Records #F8.AR h87.389739rr Remastered by London's Famous Akio Kiymatamori

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ZELLO Quodlibet ratings distribution

(37 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ZELLO Quodlibet reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Greger
4 stars ZELLO released their debut CD in 1996 on the Swedish APM label who has released a lot of great albums through the years. For example re-releases of AKASHA, ATLAS, BLAKULLA, ESKATON, IN THE LABYRINTH, MYRBEIN, TÖMERCLAUS and ZARAGON and new releases with bands such as CATWEAZLE, DEATH ORGAN, EVIDENCE, HÖYRY KONE, SIMON STEENSLAND and ZELLO. I think that this second album was planned for a release through the APM label too. It was recorded in November -97 but hasn't been released until now through the French label Musea. I don't know what has happened with the APM label or what will happen. APM was one of my two favourite labels together with Mellotronen and they had planned a lot of exciting forthcoming releases (ESKATON, MYRBEIN live etc.), but now they haven't released anything in years. I hope they will be back sometime in the future. Well, now ZELLO's follow up to their great debut has finally been released on Musea, and IN THE LABYRINTH that once was on the APM label has released a new album on the Record Heaven label. ZELLO's debut CD simply called "Zello" gave them the reputation of being Sweden's answer to KANSAS. It was very well received and this second album follows the same musical direction as their first. The fabulous Svetlan Råket has replaced the drummer on the debut CD, Jamil Batal. The comparisons to KANSAS are very much because of the violin. Lennart Glenberg-Eriksson's violin playing is very similar to David Ragsdale of KANSAS. The different between KANSAS and ZELLO are the Nordic influences. ZELLO have in their music. The three short tracks "Spaken", "Prästpolskan" and "Ekelundapolskan" that are in-between the longer tracks are Swedish traditional songs played on Violin. ZELLO's inspirations besides KANSAS are JETHRO TULL, KAIPA, UK and YES. I think that this is a great follow-up and if you liked their first album you won't be disappointed. It's also highly recommended to all fans of KANSAS.
Review by Sean Trane
2 stars I will rate purely on mathematical scale instead of the words used by our great site to describe the point of acquiring the cd : 2 out of 5 or 40% . This is mostly because I must say that I did not get into this album or the sound of it. i generally give a good ear to groups coming out of Sweden (as this country is emotionally charged for me - musically speaking but at one time also woman-wise) except for pure neo groups like Galleon and Twin Age.

This group has nothing it can offer me like alot of the bands that put out a cd in those years and sounded a bit like Zello and did not have that typical melancholy that we all love from ANGLANDOTENKADUSBERLAGARD (are you sure you're following me?) . This comes from a definitely harder edged that you can see in Valinor's Tree, Book Of Hours and so. But what this makes me think of the most is Kansas , most likely and unsurprisingly because of the violin and the way it is used and the powerfull huge sounding rythm section and powerchords from the guitar. It is too bad because I would have loved to hear a Swedish group with a violin (outside the folk realm) , maybe it would sound tooooooo melancholic but it should be tried.

To come back to the stars awarded , I can fully admit missing the point of this album (and if you like Kansas this could be enjoyable for you) but I did rate 40 % and not for collectors only.

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars I was completely blown out with the first album of this Swedish band. I had the impression to listen to a Kansas ghost. I still do not understand that they are listed in the "Art Rock category though. So, I only hope that their second album will not disappoint me.

The opener "I Will Be The Wind" is a savage rock song. At times weird, at others brilliant. There will be extremely violent sections as well as very delicate violin ones (you know like...). The lead singer is still sounding as Walsh. A very good start.

During this effort, there will be three transitional tracks, each lasting for about one minute. None of them will sound interesting as such.

"Flag Of Convenience" opens like a madrigal. Almost Tull oriented. But after ninety second, we'll enter again into a wild rock song. Extremely powerful bass and drumming during this instrumental part. The vocal effort is very pleasant. This singer really knows how to please Kansas fans...The last instrumental borrows some Yes sounds as well, but the violin at the end will inevitably bring Zello to their roots...A very good and complex song.

With "Zwecia", we'll have a very long epic song. Over twenty-five minutes ! The long instrumental intro is just wonderful. A fantastic rhythm and a great violin play. Even if one has the impression to listen to a cover band, Zello is doing it with such a maestria that I just love it. The first vocal part is not really convincing for once. Too mellowish really. But the band will be great enough to erase this aspect. Again brilliant, diabolically powerful. It will switch though from violent to extremely sweet thanks again to the wonderful violin play like ...

P-O Saether will sounds a lot better during his second and brief incursion into this almost instrumental track so far. I really can't help : I just love this music even if this track sounds a bit lenghty. Some weaker moments here and there, but not too much to be honest. There will be some hard-rocking moments during "Zwecia" as well as very strong organ combinations. But, inevitably, we'll be brought to very melodic intrumental as well as vocal sections.

A portion of the last part reminds me of J-M Jarre. All in all, this number is quite pleasant to listen to. Not a masterpiece by all means of course, but very interesting. I was expecting though a great finale, but I won't get it.

"Anthem Of The Long Forgotten Loss" is another mighty song. All bombastic. This band sounds really incredible. I can't say anything else. The finale is fantastic : the superb violin transports me to heaven (well, almost). An excellent number. Probably my fave of this excellent album.

If, like me, most of you have suffered with some Kansas poor releases, Zello is an excellent alternative to compensate this. If you are not reluctant to bands sounding too much to some of the great names on PA, Zello definitely requires your attention.

If you belong to some purists like they are a lot here, just avoid it.

Since I belong to the former category of listeners, and I am probably more tolerant towards less original bands, I can only be pleased with the music displayed by Zello. Do not look for originality but just to good musical moments. Some hard-rocking ones and some very melodic ones as well.

And for the last time, if you just listen to this album without knowing it is Zello, you will definitely name the early Kansas as being the band playing here. If clone bands do not irritate you, Zello will only please you with his melodic and powerful music.

Four stars.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Zello is a certainly a strange line-up whenever the violin is the lead instrument and you never really know what you're going to get. Like a box a chocolates, I guess. This Swedish group has some positives and negatives that leap out of the speakers right away. The keyboards are Hammond heavy, placed way up front near the Mellotron, which is a very novel concept. Bassist Danne Lindell keeps nice fat time while Svetlan Raket (Par Lindh's new drummer, by the way) excels on the kit. The opening onslaught "I Will be the Wind" is just too close to the Kansas approach (why the overt title?) and it all comes across as a bit misleading. Lead vocalist P.O. Saether sounds at times like Steve Walsh or even Journey's Steve Perry (God help us) and is therefore assuredly an acquired taste, trying so hard to sound like a Yank. Not at all my kind of wedding singer, at least not for prog, as he is way too overwrought, verging almost into a Heavy Metal howler parody. Their line-up is better suited for a more subtle approach as on the 10 minute "Flag of Convenience" which has not only style but also substance, nice piano blending with the grieving Hammond, Lennart's searing violin blazing away furiously but again the forced vocals are almost unbearable. Then something weird happens, unexpectedly laying down a 25 minute monster, as "Zwecia" has the hallmarks of a true prog epic with loads of shifting moods, subtlety and inspiration. Both lead instruments (the violin and the organ) take pleasure in foraging deep into explorative territories with resounding synchronicity, playfully raging when needed and coy the rest of the time. As soon as Saether (allegedly a dentist in real life) approaches the mike, the drilling starts but the instrumental intervals are long, so its goes easier. There is some fanfare like bombast sprinkled throughout (usually thanks to the mighty 'Tron), courtesy of Anders Altzarfeldt, who is certainly no slouch and gives this piece some well deserved applause. Fans of Hammond (and they are plentiful) will surely find much to enjoy. "Anthem." just keeps flowing in the same direction without really offering anything sonically different, except that Saether now is trying to emulate Bruce Dickinson, of all people. Oh well! I cannot help being puzzled by such a narrow concept though and find it hard to envisage any kind of prolific career within such parameters and Zello will have a hard time "progressing" in my opinion. They are certainly deserving of a place in a collection but more out of uniqueness than actual material. It's amazing how a good vocalist that actually fits the style can make such an immense difference. In my years of analyzing progressive music, I have come to the conclusion that the front (lead vocals) and the back (drums) are vital components and often make or break a band's intrinsic value. I guess that explains why I never liked the Rolling Stones! 3 krones

Latest members reviews

3 stars ZELLO is a Swedish band from the nineties, who sound very much like KANSAS in their best (seventies) period, though their compositions also sometimes remind me of CAIRO (with a dominant violin instead of the Keith Emerson-like keyboards of that particular band), and the clear and bombastic style ... (read more)

Report this review (#132271) | Posted by Paul de Graaf | Wednesday, August 8, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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