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Vespero The Four Zoas album cover
3.93 | 46 ratings | 2 reviews | 26% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2020

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Urizen (11:48)
2. Tharmas (8:29)
3. Beulah (5:27)
4. Luvah (8:44)
5. Urthona (5:59)
6. LOS (8:37)
7. The Emanation of the Giant Albion (21:02) *

Total Time 70:06

* CD bonus track

Line-up / Musicians

- Alexander Kuzovlev / guitars
- Alexey Klabukov / keyboards, synthesizer, trumpet, slide whistle
- Vitaly Borodin / violin
- Arkady Fedotov / bass, synthesizer, recorder, noises
- Ivan Fedotov / drums, drum machine

- Alexandra Starkova / cello (4)
- Anna Anshakova / viola (4)
- Evelina Butenko / violin (4)
- Ilya Lipkin / solo guitar (7)

Releases information

Label: Tonzonen Records
Format: Vinyl (Orange Black Dust (500)), 2CD (with bonus "Liventure 2018-2019" live recordings (300)), CD, Digital
Release date: June 5, 2020

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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VESPERO The Four Zoas ratings distribution

(46 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(26%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

VESPERO The Four Zoas reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kev rowland
4 stars This is the second album I have heard from Russian band Vespero, as I had previously reviewed 2017's 'Shum-Shir'. There was an album in between, 'Hollow Moon', which I have not come across and this is their eleventh release to date. It has the same core line-up of Alexander Kuzovlev (guitars), Alexey Klabukov (keyboards, synthesizer, trumpet, slide whistle), Vitaly Borodin (violin), Arkady Fedotov (bass, synthesizer, recorder, noises) and Ivan Fedotov (drums, drum machine) and this time around they have been joined by a string quartet on one number. The music was inspired apparently by an uncompleted prophetic book written by William Blake, and the band themselves describe it as space/psychedelic/post/progressive rock.

Last time around I pointed to Ozrics or Gong as potential starting points, and that is probably still the case with this one, but there are also elements of folk and ethnic stylings which make it quite different as well while the heavy use of violin also adds to the layers and complexity. Apparently, it has taken two years to record this, and I totally believe that as it moves and shifts in so many different directions with complex arrangements. One never knows where the music is going to go, and the listener is always on a journey. There are so many great bands coming out of Russia, and there is no doubt in my mind that Vespero is one of the most interesting. This is music to be played in darkness, just letting the mind concentrate on the swirling keyboards, the picked guitar, the strident violin. It is music to drift along to which is compelling and interesting, expanding yet never too challenging, just that little bit different from the norm. Deep, meaningful, this is superb.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars The Russian Kosmische jam band veterans are back with their most polished, cohesive album in a long time! (perhaps since By the Waters of Tomorrow!)

1. "Urizen" (11:48) the first 5:30 is the prettiest, spaciest music Vespero have done for a long time, but then, when things come busing out, it is spoiled. The drums are a disaster--they don't fit. (21/25) 2. "Tharmas" (8:29) a song in which, after the long intro, all cylinders are firing in perfect synchrony. The Jerry Goldsmith-like sliding electric guitar notes in the opening two minutes are okay, but it is after the two-minute mark that we get some truly awesome performances from the guitars (electric and acoustic), bass, drums, and synths. One of the best songs I've ever heard from Vespero--and my favorite on this album. One of the best songs of 2020! (19/20)

3. "Beulah" (5:27) here violin and guitar create the principle weave, waving up and down through several octaves as they do. Simple bass and synth support with over active drums (which later gets the bass going into hyperdrive, too). Nice guitar and violin play but the song never seems to step into phase. And the lull and shift into acoustic 12-string and pan flute at 3:15 is simply weird and unfitting (this despite my knowing nothing about Beulah). (8.25/10)

4. "Luvah (8:44) another great jam with another weird violin-led intro. The solid bass and drum blues-rock rhythm pattern that drives the meat of the song while guitar and synths space out is so captivating--It's like you want to live in that groove! Some of Ivan's best drumming in a long time. Beautiful full-band entry at the six-minute mark--great weave. Beautiful! (18.75/20)

5. "Urthona (5:59) JEAN-MICHEL JARRE, BLACK SABBATH and STEVE HILLAGE in the studio at the same time! At 2:15 we switch to Studio B with FELA KUTI and RANDY CALIFORNIA's SPIRIT going at it. Synths and guitars finish it off, balsting away at each other, in the fifth and sixth minutes. High-powered jam! (8.75/10)

6. "LOS (8:37) grooving drums and bass, soling Farfisa organ, and Afro-pop guitar create an interesting and quite lovely, quite engaging song. The middle section could come from a KAHN, EGG, or ANTIQUE SEEKING NUNS album. Another very melodic, high quality composition with some nice soli and harmonized group weaves. My other top three song from this album. (18.75/20)

7. "The Emanation of the Giant Albion" (21:02) nice to hear a proper mix of all of the instruments--and some awesome guitar sounds--and a great final five minutes. (35/40)

Total Time 70:06

B+/4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of instrumental progressive rock music and an excellent addition to ANY prog lover's music collection.

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